Agenda Item 6

4.3.2 Designation Process

Thank you Madam Facilitator –

We will focus our intervention on the designation process for MPAs specifically.

With only a fraction of oceans under protection in areas beyond national jurisdiction today, our oceans and the life they sustain are increasingly under threat. And so are we humans; as only living oceans can help us mitigate & adapt to the impacts of climate change.

So our guiding question on this subject has always been:

What is the process that can best deliver a global representative network of effectively protected MPAs, in particular fully protected marine reserves?

To that end:

Regarding Proposals

HSA supports Option I. para 1, Option A, where proposals are submitted by State Parties with the possibility for civil society to co-sponsor.

In paragraph 3, we agree with the EU that proposals should be based on best available science, apply the precautionary principle- as suggested by the EU and Switzerland- and the ecosystem approach. Proposals should further take into account relevant traditional knowledge.

We strongly support having the basic elements of a proposal listed in the Agreement, as per paragraph 4 of Option A, rather than delaying this to a later stage. We agree with Micronesia on behalf of PSIDS that the current list of required elements would make it difficult for proposals to be put forward. So we agree that the list is streamlined as suggested.

In particular, under sub-paragraph M, we recommend combining options 1 and 2, which would follow the process in CCAMLR and require that the proposal includes priority elements of a management plan (as suggested by the EU), indicating measures to be adopted, including activities that may be restricted, managed or prohibited in the MPA.

For sub-paragraph p), like the EU, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Togo, Monaco, Eritrea and others, HSA strongly supports Option 2- “no text” as we are against arbitrary end dates for MPAs.


Regarding Consultation on and assessment of the proposal

The HSA supports a global consultation process that is time-bound, inclusive, transparent and open to all stakeholders, including regional and sectoral bodies, building on Option I. It is through this inclusive process that all stakeholders would be able to weigh in on conservation measures needed to effectively implement the proposed marine protected area.

For Paragraph 7  we support Option A where the Scientific Committee set forth in the Agreement shall review the proposal and input received during the consultation process taking into account the cumulative impacts of activities and make a recommendation to the Conference of Parties.


Regarding Decision-making

The HSA supports global decision-making on proposals through a Conference of Parties and here we support Option I ,Paragraph 1, Under Option A we support Option 2. We support the suggestion by the African Group that it should be the establishment, rather than designation marine protected areas. We would also add that the establishment of MPAs should include associated conservation measures, in light of the scientific advice” etc as per the text.

We think this is necessary because referring decision making on the establishment of MPAs or the adoption of conservation measures to bodies with different mandates and membership outside this Agreement, would lead to the same fragmentation that the Agreement is meant to remedy, and may lead to the proliferation of global paper parks – areas protected on paper but not at sea.

For Paragraph 2, we support Option B, as suggested by Algeria on behalf of the African Group, Micronesia on behalf of PSIDS,  Argentina on behalf of the Latin American Like Minded Countries, New Zealand, and would further specify here that if all efforts to reach consensus have been exhausted that a voting procedure shall apply to avoid deadlocks and paralysis. The first UN Ocean Assessment stressed that, “urgent action on a global scale is needed to protect the world’s oceans” so we feel strongly that the decision making modalities of the new agreement should reflect this urgency.

Finally, for ABMTs other than MPAs: we could see a similar process for their adoption by the COP of the new agreement, as it is important to future proof the Treaty so that it can fill gaps and respond to emerging activities.


See the video statement here.