BBNJ – Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

For the 60% of the ocean that lies in areas beyond national jurisdiction, the development of a new international agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is poised to commence under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (BBNJ – Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction) (See definition for UNCLOS).” Diplomats, lawyers, and scientists will work to define the rules for activities including: establishing protected areas and other marine spatial planning, and environmental impact assessment for activities with potentially significant impacts (like deep-sea mining).
Scheduled to begin in September 2018, the negotiation is budgeted for two years, which is a pretty short time to reach an agreement that will affect about 230 million square kilometers, or 46 percent of Earth’s surface. The BBNJ instrument could address activities affecting the living ocean in a comprehensive way, bringing greater coherence and functionality to the complicated legal landscape of instruments, frameworks, and bodies; or it could have a narrow scope and limited authority, becoming one more specialized instrument.”