The once and future treaty: Towards a new regime for biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 99, Jan 2019, Pages 239-242.
Authors: 
Rachel Tiller, Elizabeth De Santo, Elizabeth Mendenhall, Elizabeth Nyman

The current regime governing Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) as a global commons has resulted in overutilization of fisheries resources and patchwork attempts to regulate resource extraction. States are looking to expand resource extraction in ABNJs, including marine genetic resources, creating pressures to regulate these activities. As a result, since 2004, the United Nations has been holding preparatory meetings to lay the groundwork for a new international legally binding instrument (ILBI) to address the gaps left by UNCLOS. The negotiations for an ILBI are focuses on four thematic focus areas: marine genetic resources (including benefit sharing), area based management tools (including MPAs), environmental impact assessments, and capacity building and technology transfer. At the conclusion of the first round of negotiations in September 2018, we comment on the process and the tensions observed during the two weeks of talks based on observations and interviews with delegates and observers, contextualized within the authors’ expertise and perspectives