Policy Statement: Oceans and the Law of the Sea Resolution, October 2012

  • September 21, 2012

The first round of the 2012 United Nations Informal Negotiations on the Oceans and Law of the Sea Resolution will take place 1-5 October. This negotiation offers Member States a crucial opportunity to build on the momentum initiated by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) towards establishing stronger conservation and management measures to promote the long-term sustainability of the ocean environment. Additionally, this negotiation can provide a launching pad to achieve progress at this year's UN Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The Pew Environment Group has prepared a policy statement which identifies a number of key elements that should be included in this year's Oceans resolution. Please find this statement attached.

Specifically, Pew urges Member States during this year's negotiations to:

  • Agree that the BBNJ workshops should include presentations and ample time for discussion, be held consecutively to minimize travel and cost to delegates and be open to stakeholder participation and dialogue. Additionally, the workshops should follow the format of the 2011 bottom fishing workshop;
  • Include relevant matters agreed at the upcoming meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP-11, including marine protected areas, identification of ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs), and environmental impact assessments;
  • Task BBNJ to consider the CBD EBSA summary reports to be issued following the upcoming COP-11 and make recommendations to the UNGA based on the reports; and
  • Consider using the United Nations Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS) as a forum for discussion of a possible Ocean and Fisheries Sustainable Development Goal.

Topics: Oceans, Environment