Preparatory Commissions (PrepComs) are often established after an international Agreement has been signed to prepare for its entry into force.
On 4 March 2023, after almost two decades of discussion, including five years of negotiations, the world’s governments finalized the text of a new United Nations (UN) Treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), under the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). After the text was legally “scrubbed” and translated into the six official UN languages, the final Treaty text was formally adopted by Member States at the UN on 19 June 2023.
For the Treaty to become international law, it must be signed and ratified by at least 60 countries. The 60th country to ratify will trigger a 120-day countdown, after which the Treaty will enter into force.
The greatest opportunity in a generation to conserve ocean life and diversity on a global scale and safeguard 2/3 of the world’s ocean is happening right now. World governments are in the final stages of negotiating a new treaty under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) – the first ever to focus on conserving and ensuring sustainable use of biodiversity of the ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), which includes the water column or “the high seas” and the seabed below. Comprising nearly half the planet, the high seas are a true global common.
Discover a few of the incredible biodiversity hotspots in the high seas that deserve priority protection and could become the first generation of high seas MPAs under a new UN High Seas Treaty.
Emperor Seamounts – English
HSA has developed concise briefings on key BBNJ Treaty issues for negotiators and decision-makers:
Area-based Management Tools and Marine Protected Areas
- ABMT/MPA Brief #1: Process for the establishment of MPAs under the BBNJ Treaty
- ABMTs/MPA Brief #2: How do MPAs and other ABMTs differ?
Environmental Impact Assessments
- EIA Briefing #1: When should an Environmental Impact Assessment be conducted?
- EIA Briefing #2: How should Environmental Impact Assessments be conducted?
- EIA Briefing #3: Who should review EIAs and decide whether a proposed activity may proceed?
- Cross-cutting Briefing #1: Entry into Force Provisions in the BBNJ Agreement
- Cross-cutting Briefing #2: Effective Implementation and Compliance under the BBNJ Agreement through an Implementation and Compliance Committee