Sustainable use of marine biological diversity

Moving the intergovernmental negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction forward

This project is concerned with the intergovernmental negotiations on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, which are taking place under the auspices of the United Nations (also referred to as the BBNJ process). The process started in 2006, and is currently at the stage of an intergovernmental conference consisting of four sessions. The first session took place in 2018 and the three remaining sessions will take place between 2019 and 2020. The conference is mandated to negotiate the text of the instrument.

This Centre for Global Challenges research project organises an informal meeting in Utrecht in late 2019, between the third and fourth session of the conference. This kind of meeting facilitates the international negotiations, by discussing the controversial issues and by canvassing possible solutions in an informal setting. After the first session, it became clear that states remain highly divided on most key issues, and that substantial progress is necessary in order to come to a draft treaty with implications for global sustainability. The project will be partnered by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has been involved with the ‘BBNJ process’ from the outset.