In late February, Foreign Affairs Peru, Foreign Affairs Colombia and HSA members (AIDA, MarViva Foundation, Global Fishing Watch, IUCN, and the Pew Charitable Trusts, among others) organized the Science Tour “Towards the Negotiation of a New Instrument for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.”
Government officials as well as civil society representatives from NGOs and academia attended the meetings held in Lima on February 25th, and in Bogotá on February 27th, with the view to strengthen national capacities, improve coordination among relevant actors, and enhance discussions on the future BBNJ Treaty.
During the Science tour, speakers from the High Seas Alliance (HSA) and ally organizations addressed different elements of the BBNJ package, including marine protected areas, access to marine genetic resources, monitoring and surveillance, among others. The experts also drew attention to relevant elements from the President’s Aid to Discussion paper.
The BBNJ process is the first global negotiation of an agreement related to the ocean that has been carried out in more than two decades, and the only one specifically aimed at the protection of marine biodiversity in ABNJ. Therefore, States have been dedicating time and resources in preparing their national positions, as well-informed participation in the upcoming BBNJ IGC2 will be critical for the advancement of the negotiations.
The interest and full engagement on this negotiation process by all relevant actors is indicative of the urgency and desire to surpass the status quo and effectively improve the conservation of the ocean global commons.