During the PrepCom meeting taking place at UN Headquarters from March 28-April 8, the High Seas Alliance held a side event for government representatives entitled ‘Governance Principles, EIAs, and Operationalization in the New Instrument‘.

The lunch-time event drew over 70 government representatives who gathered to hear an expert panel address key topics being addressed at the PrepCom negotiations. Moderated by Lisa Speer, Director of  International Oceans Program at NRDC, panelists included David Freestone, Secretary of the Sargasso Sea Commission, Duncan Currie, International Legal Advisor, and Kristina Gjerde, IUCN Global and Marine Polar Programme.

Download Presentations:

Environmental Impact Assessments – Kristina M. Gjerde

Governance Principles In Practice – Duncan Currie

Governance of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Towards a Principled Approach – Dr. David Freestone

On June 19 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 69/292 in which it decided to develop an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The resolution provides for a preparatory committee “to make substantive recommendations to the General Assembly on the elements of a draft text” of the instrument. The High Seas Alliance submits the following suggestions for consideration by the Preparatory Committee.

Continue reading High Seas Alliance: Suggestions for Consideration by the Preparatory Committee, March 2016

A white paper outlining governance principles relevant to the proposed international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It describes the proposed principles, with an Annex containing excerpts from key international instruments and agreements as precedents for the application of the principle in multilateral instruments. It also sets out ways the principles may be operationalized in the international instrument. It is hoped that this paper will stimulate discussion on some of the fundamental operating and governance principles that may be needed to translate specific operational objectives of any new agreement into established practice.

Duncan E. J. Currie February 2016

Download white paper

From 16-19 June 2014, governments will gather for the second intersessional “BBNJ” meeting of the UN Working Group to discuss a new high seas biodiversity agreement under UNCLOS.  Delegations will discuss the scope and parameters of such an agreement including the legal and regulatory gaps that have resulted in a fragmented approach to ocean governance.  Please see the attached Summary and Overview of Legal, Regulatory and Implementation Gaps in the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in Marine Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.

Summary of Gaps Document

Overview of Gaps Document

The Tenth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is meeting at the United Nations in New York from 31 March-4 April. 

The High Seas Alliance and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition have made a submission on proposed elements for inclusion in an Ocean SDG: achieve healthy, productive and resilient oceans. 

Produced by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, High Seas Alliance

Download PDF, here.

From 1-4 April 2014, governments will gather at the United Nations in New York, for ground-breaking discussions on whether to launch negotiations for a new High Seas biodiversity agreement under UNCLOS. These discussions will continue at the UN from 16-19 June, with a focus on the ‘scope, parameters and feasibility’ of a new implementing agreement.

The High Seas Alliance has released a series of policy briefs to coincide with these UN intersessional meetings:

HSA Briefing 1: About the High Seas Alliance

HSA Briefing 2: The Need for a New Implementing Agreement Under UNCLOS on Marine Biodiversity of the High Seas

HSA Briefing 3: Equity, Food Security and Capacity-building

HSA Briefing 4: Wonders of the High Seas

To address the issue of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, States agreed to take a decision on the development of a new international instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group will take place from 1 to 4 April 2014.  In advance of that meeting, Member States have been invited to submit by 28 February 2014 their views on the scope, parameters and feasibility of such an international instrument under UNCLOS.

See HSA’s Policy Recommendations:  English   French   Brazilian Portuguese   Arabic   Spanish