High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

On February 11, 2022, last day of One Ocean Summit, declaration on “High Ambition Coalition (HAC) on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)” was introduced.

Key Points

  • The One Ocean Summit was organised under the leadership of French President.
  • Negotiators from across the world will gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York in March 2022, for the “fourth intergovernmental conference” on new international legally binding treaty for conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction.

BBNJ Treaty

The BBNJ Treaty are also known as “Treaty of the High Seas”. It is an international agreement on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. It is currently under negotiation at the United Nations. The new treaty is being developed within the framework of United Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is an important international agreement governing human activities at sea.

High Ambition Coalition (HAC) on BBNJ

The HAC gathers parties which are committed to achieve an ambitious outcome of ongoing negotiations on a Treaty of the High Seas, under the United Nations.

Significance of the treaty

BBNJ Treaty provides an opportunity to fill gaps and address weaknesses in ocean governance. It also provides opportunity to take meaningful action for addressing and managing transboundary pollution on high seas. This declaration by High Ambition Coalition (HAC) is a welcomed step for protecting biodiversity on high seas, with increasing pressure on ocean.

What countries have joined?

As of February 11, countries like Australia, Chile, Canada, Comoros, Colombia, India, Monaco, Egypt, Peru, Morocco, Norway, Republic of the Congo, Switzerland, Singapore, Togo, the United Kingdom and EU & its 27 Member States have joined the coalition.

What are Areas beyond national jurisdiction?

Areas beyond national jurisdiction consists of 95% of the ocean. The area provides invaluable economical, ecological, cultural, social, scientific and food-security benefits to humanity.

What are the concerns?

The areas beyond national jurisdiction are now vulnerable to growing threats, of overexploitation, pollution, and the impacts climate change. The increasing demand for marine resources for food, biotechnology or minerals, threatens to exacerbate this problem.

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