Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (10): 1153-1161.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019110

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A new perspective on marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ): Making use of area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs)

Liao Jianji,Huang Hao(),Li Weiwen,Wang Lei,An Lina   

  1. Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xiamen, Fujian 361005
  • Received:2019-03-28 Accepted:2019-08-20 Online:2019-10-20 Published:2019-12-20
  • Contact: Huang Hao

Abstract:

With the increasing exploitation of marine biodiversity, conservation is facing several challenges. The Intergovernmental Conference to create an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) was convened. They aimed to address the gap between conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. One of the core talking points of the ILBI, area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs), were widely recognized as a key mechanism for conserving and restoring biodiversity. Though the process of creating the ILBI is still in its early stages, there has been a lack of common understanding among United Nations (UN) member states regarding the elements of this new protocol. Thus, here we analyze the differences and commonalities of definitions and objectives from the UNCLOS, as well as other instruments and frameworks, relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies, general principles and approaches, current legal and policy frameworks, technological challenges and stakeholder engagement. Our recommendations to increase understanding of ABMTs/MPAs include improving the scientificity of establishing MPAs, establishing effective monitoring and enforcement mechanisms and strengthening international cooperation for the establishment of ABMTs/MPAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Key words: marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), marine protected areas in the high seas, the law of the sea, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), marine spatial planning