10th – 11th May 2016, Cambridge UK
About the project
This project is a partnership between UNEP-WCMC, the University of Cambridge, IUCN and Birdlife International. It is funded by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. The aim of the project is to explore the changing threats to biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) and consider feasible legal options for its conservation and sustainable use. More information about the project is available here.
This workshop will bring together legal, conservation, policy and industry experts to discuss the possible form of a new implementing agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ. The workshop will discuss how emergent trends in marine activities are likely to affect BBNJ and evaluate the effectiveness of a range of legal approaches to address those threats.
Description of the workshop
Day one of the workshop will open with a summary and discussion of the progress made at the first PrepCom meeting held in New York in April 2016 towards the development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ. This discussion will provide the foundation for the presentation of the main results of the two supporting studies undertaken ahead of the workshop. The morning will conclude with the opportunity for open discussion around the science, law and political pulse of BBNJ conservation and sustainable use.
Building on the earlier discussions, the afternoon session will first reflect upon how the existing legal framework for BBNJ conservation and sustainable use is being applied, its effectiveness and its coverage. This discussion will generate a common understanding of what a ‘business as usual’ scenario would look like. Subsequent discussions will focus on how a new international legally binding instrument can address gaps and improve the effectiveness of the existing legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ. A structured scenari0 analysis discussion will then consider the extent to which the existing and emergent threats to BBNJ can be addressed through specific legal options. This discussion will include consideration of the role of Marine Protected Areas, Environmental Impact Assessments 1 and Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs).
Day two will continue the analysis of legal options to address existing and emergent threats to BBNJ. This segment of the workshop will conclude with an overall evaluation of which legal options offer a feasible approach to the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ. The final stage of the workshop will involve converting the results of the scenario analysis into the key building blocks for a ‘conservation agenda’ to feed into discussions at the next PrepCom meeting.