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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

This project will develop a practical but progressive international conservation agenda for the protection of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).  The conservation of BBNJ is a critical international conservation and political issue around which there is broad UN-led international consensus supporting a new protective legal instrument.  However, there is limited agreement concerning the threats likely to affect BBNJ and therefore uncertainty over what measures should be included within the new legal instrument and how the legal instrument should be framed. The terms of an international legal instrument will be recommended to the UN General Assembly by the end of 2017; therefore 2015-17 is a critical window of opportunity during which a strong conservation agenda would make a vital contribution. This project proposes to undertake (i) a horizon scan of threats to BBNJ and (ii) a review of legal options for BBNJ protection to generate a foundation analysis of BBNJ issues.  The foundation analysis will form the basis for discussion at a specially convened high-level international deliberative workshop attended by invited marine conservation and legal experts at which a prioritised conservation agenda will be developed. The conservation agenda will be widely disseminated, including to the UN-led BBNJ process, thus the results of this project will contribute directly to the conservation and global legal protection of BBNJ.