Stockholm seminar

Unfinished business of UNCLOS: Marine biodiversity beyond national boundaries

Seminar with Kristina Gjerde, Senior High Seas Advisor to IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme, Wednesday 21 February


Kristina Gjerde is an IUCN Senior High Seas Advisor, Adjunct Professor of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and co-lead of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative. On February 21, 2018, she delivered a Stockholm Seminar at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences titled “Unfinished business of UNCLOS: Marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction”.

Her talk focused on the nearly two-thirds of the ocean that exists beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), an area roughly equivalent to half of the Earth’s surface. In ABNJ, a fragmented institutional landscape has resulted in considerable governance gaps, which pose a risk to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. She described the long process of building consensus among states about the need for a new international treaty on biodiversity in ABNJ, resulting in a United Nations General Assembly decision on December 24, 2017 to start treaty negotiations.

Her seminar centered around five themes: the challenge of creating a new treaty to save the high seas without undermining existing institutions; the legal context for negotiating the treaty; a set of seven aspirational goals for the new treaty; future obstacles; and the role of science and scientists in contributing to this process.

The United Nations General Assembly decision to launch the treaty negotiations is available here.

More information is also available on the high seas work of the IUCN, and the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative.

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
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