Use of Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction
OSPAR participated at the first session of the Intergovernmental Conference 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 (General Assembly resolution 72/249), 4-17 September 2018, to present OSPAR’s remit of work as an international cooperation mechanism with a mandate to adopt protective measures on marine resources and habitats, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) within its Maritime Area.
OSPAR was presented as the competent regional organisation guiding regional cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic In accordance with Article 197 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Executive Secretary, Susana Salvador, spoke on the current OSPAR work on a possible Marine Protected Area (MPA) focused on the protection of seabirds, as well as the process of seeking views and information from other competent authorities to inform future OSPAR decisions on the designation and management of the site. OSPAR’s cooperation activities with other organisations as well as the institutional dialogue through the collective arrangement were described as being of utmost relevance to launch wider cooperation between legally competent authorities in the North-East Atlantic, including in ABNJ.
In a side-event with UNEP and WCMC on a “Regional approach for a future international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction under the UNCLOS”, 13 September 2018, OSPAR Executive Secretary made a presentation on OSPAR’s regional approach through cross-sectoral cooperation, including the designation mechanism of Marine Protected Areas within its Maritime Area.
Image Above: L-R Exec Sec of OSPAR, Susana Salvador, OSPAR Vice-Chair John Clorley (UK), OSPAR Chair Richard Cronin (Ireland), OSPAR Vice-Chair Sesselja Bjarnadóttir (Iceland)
The Chairman of OSPAR, Richard Cronin participated at an Expert meeting on "Building a Strong High Seas Treaty: What is the Role for Regional Ocean Governance?", hosted by Germany, the Abidjan Convention Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific and the STRONG High Seas Project, on 8 September. A Round table was devoted to “Regional Governance of ABNJ: Lessons Learnt & Challenges” where the OSPAR experience was described on the designation of MPAs in ABNJ and the main lessons learnt during the process.