With Germany holding the Presidency of the EU in July to December 2020, IASS researchers are supporting the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the ongoing negotiations for the development of a new and internationally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for the conservation and sustainable use of the marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Protecting the biodiversity of the high seas is a central priority of the European Union's new biodiversity strategy. The current European presidency trio is made up of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia and runs through to the end of 2021. The first part of this project focussed on supporting Germany's EU presidency in the negotiations for a conservation treaty for the high seas. IASS researcher Torsten Thiele joined the German team supporting the EU's preparations for negotiations around the development of a new and internationally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of the marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.
The team of IASS researchers is currently supplying expertise to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on two core issues in the ongoing negotiations: environmental impact assessments and the procedures for designating marine protected areas. Among other things, the researchers are participating in the "Intersessional Dialogues".
IASS researchers build bridges between policymakers and science
The project aims to advance the BBNJ negotiations and to strengthen German engagement with pressing environmental issues within the framework of the EU's efforts. This includes the development of background papers and discussion documents. In addition, the researchers from the IASS act as a bridge between BMU staff and external experts as well as the representatives of the negotiating the states.
This project complements the work of the Ocean Governance team and the IKI project ["STRONG High Seas"] (https://www.iass-potsdam.de/de/forschung/staerkung-der-regionalen-governance-fuer-die-hohe-see-strong-high-seas), in particular, and supports the research group's broader efforts to promote good ocean governance.