Headline: Study on Measures to Support Conservation Efforts for Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction in the Southeast Atlantic Region

Measures to support conservation efforts must put the protection of biodiversity and/or ecological integrity as the primary objective and consider cumulative pressures on the marine environment. This also means including ecological connectivity (e.g., migratory routes of marine species, transboundary impacts of human activities), and climate change impacts in their design and implementation. Moreover, the complexity and dynamic nature of the ocean, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), requires that conservation efforts acknowledge uncertainty, include options to address it or adapt swiftly to new scientific information, and consider the three-dimensional space of the ocean. This also requires that the best available interdisciplinary scientific and indigenous knowledge provide the basis for the design and implementation of such measures. It will be essential that measures to support conservation efforts apply mechanisms for cross-sectoral consultation, cooperation, and collaboration, as well as consider appropriate spatial and temporal scales for implementation. They must reflect broad societal goals and consider uneven distribution of socio-economic outcomes resulting from exploitative activities in ABNJ. Governance and management actions must recognise coupled and diverse social-ecological systems, and the interconnection between ocean health and human wellbeing, including diverse stakeholder considerations in the design and implementation of the measure or approach. It is essential that the design and implementation of measures to support conservation efforts include appropriate means to ensure the regular monitoring, control, and surveillance of human activities as well as the compliance and enforcement of the laws and regulations in place. States are familiar with legal instruments, such as those under the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions, International Seabed Authority (ISA), and management measures adopted by the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). They have developed governance structures and capacity to support their implementation. The recommendation in this context would be for States to support the consolidation and further development of measures to support conservation efforts with the aim to ensure that they integrate their approach with considerations for ecological connectivity, biodiversity protection, ecosystem-based integrated ocean management and climate change implications for the conservation and management of biodiversity in ABNJ. To be effective, any measures to support conservation efforts proposed for ABNJ in the Southeast Atlantic region must consider the socio-economic and political realities of the countries whose Exclusive Economic Zones border these areas. In this sense, it is important to note the important role that the fishing sector has historically played and continues to play for most economies of this region. The proposed Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Instrument in negotiation at the United Nations, will be fundamental for establishing the legal basis for developing and implementing cross-sectoral measures to support conservation efforts in ABNJ. The way in which the proposed BBNJ Instrument is integrated and how the link to existing conservation and sustainable use measures established under existing management organisations is made will determine the effectiveness of the possible measures to support current and future conservation efforts. In this regard, it is particularly important for the Southeast Atlantic region how existing RFMOs will be able to interact with the proposed BBNJ Instrument. Considering the capacity (technological, experience, financial, logistical) challenges of many of the countries in the Southeast Atlantic, it is important that measures to support conservation efforts under existing international treaties or legal mechanisms be integrated, practical, and cost-effective. The different legal status of the water column and the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction and the different legal provisions in place represent a challenge for the development of a coherent, comprehensive, and integrated approach to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in ABNJ. Lack of uniformity in compliance among flag States and the lack of monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in ABNJ jeopardise the achievement of an integrated approach for conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in these vast areas of ocean. The wide array of existing instruments can be used to improve conservation of biodiversity in ABNJ through improved monitoring and enforced compliance. This remains the responsibility of individual flag States, but at present there is limited reporting of vessels and minimum follow up action by flag or port States.

Publication Year
2022
Publication Type
Other publication or document type
Citation

Hampton, S., Castellanos-Galindo, G. A., Boteler, B., Durussel, C., Greyling, L., & Parramon Gurney, M. (2022). Study on Measures to Support Conservation Efforts for Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction in the Southeast Atlantic Region.

DOI
10.48481/iass.2022.011
Links
https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6001836_6/component/file_6… https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6001988
Staff involved
Projects involved
Strengthening Regional Ocean Governance for the High Seas (STRONG High Seas)