Revised UNCLOS Draft Now Available


Published Nov 28, 2019 5:19 PM by The Maritime Executive

The revised text of the proposed legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) was posted on November 27, 2019 and is available at www.un.org/bbnj.

This version of the BBNJ text is critical, as there is only one more BBNJ negotiating session planned. The fourth and final formal negotiating session will take place at the U.N. HQ in New York in the first half of 2020. The World Ocean Council (WOC) will again be at the negotiating session to ensure industry involvement.

The WOC will be undertaking a detailed review and analysis of the updated draft BBNJ text for the global ocean business community as soon as possible. In the meantime, a two-page WOC briefing on the BBNJ and implications for ocean industries can be found here.

The legally binding BBNJ will create new international high seas regulation on:

• Environmental impact assessments (EIAs)
• Area-based management tools including marine protected areas (MPAs)
• Capacity-building and transfer of marine technology
• Marine genetic resources (MGRs) including benefit sharing

The WOC “BBNJ Business Coalition” provides a means for coordinated industry involvement in the BBNJ process. The Coalition will seek to develop coordinated industry input to ensure that the BBNJ will be practical, implementable and engender constructive ocean business community engagement in the conservation and sustainable use of marine life in international waters.

In preparation for the start of the formal BBNJ Negotiations, in 2018 the WOC released a report on “Ocean Governance and the Private Sector” – a review of major international ocean policy organizations and processes, the past and ongoing efforts for engaging the business community and priorities for the future, especially for the WOC in its role as the global, multi-industry organization on ocean sustainable development.