Intergovernmental Negotiations of the Draft Marine Biological Diversity Treaty Negotiations

  • From March 25 to April 5, the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument 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) convened for its second round of negotiations. 

  •  According to the UN General AssemblyResolution 72/249, BBNJ aims to establish global rules on topics such as the creation of marine protected areas, the use of genetic marine resources, the assessment of environmental impacts, and capacity building and marine technology transfer. 

  • Developing States, both individually and as blocs, took a lead in the conference’s opening days. Belize (on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States), Nauru (Pacific Islands Forum Group), Barbados (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Algeria (on behalf of the African Group), Chile (on behalf of Latin American like-minded countries), Togo, Philippines, Myanmar, Morocco, Ecuador, Guatemala, Sudan, Iran, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Cameroon, and Mali all expressed their positions and highlighted the needs of developing States

  • Developing States can avail of several resources to enhance their participation in the negotiations. They may apply to a special voluntary trust fund for financial assistance to attend meetings or the BBNJ Training Programme to increase their knowledge of the process leading to the Intergovernmental Conference, enhance their understanding of the issues, and strengthen their negotiation capabilities. In addition to these formal mechanisms for enhancing participation, IILA can work with small and developing States to full enhance their capacity and engage with existing opportunities.

For more information, see BBNJ’s website.

Anika Havaldar