Advancing Participation in the Conservation & Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ)

Strand, Mia and Morgera, Elisa and Ntona, Mara and Kenny, Andrew and Sauer, Warwick and Gaebel, Christine and Lavelle, Jessica and Snow, Bernadette (2022) Advancing Participation in the Conservation & Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). [Report]

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Participation of civil society in the negotiations on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) remains limited and below the standards adopted under other multilateral environmental negotiations (Morgera et al., 2022), both in terms of participation and access to information. This policy brief underscores that public participation in the future implementation of the BBNJ Agreement is an international human rights issue, particularly with regard to Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) holders and children. Participation is necessary to ensure that the most affected are not excluded from determining the future of our ocean and all the dimensions of human wellbeing that depended on it (Morgera et al., 2022). Public participation should be informed by existing international human rights obligations of the States participating in the BBNJ negotiations as a response to the recommendation by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment that the BBNJ negotiations should consider human rights (Boyd, 2020).This policy brief also underscores that capacitybuilding under the BBNJ Agreement needs to support public participation in the implementation of the Agreement, as well as knowledge sharing and co-production. The policy brief includes specific textual recommendations to inform the upcoming session of the Intergovernmental Conference from 15th to 26th August 2022. All comments refer to the latest revised draft text of the BBNJ Agreement prepared by the President of the Intergovernmental Conference in July 2022.


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