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Towards ecosystem-based governance of the high seas

Vito De Lucia

IIED Briefing, 4 pages

Early on in the international process to adopt a new international treaty on the conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), the ‘ecosystem approach’ was identified as an invaluable tool that would help “build a global legal regime that allowed for an integrated assessment of human activities and their interactions with the marine environment”.

But despite broad agreement among negotiators that this approach should be included as a general principle of any future international legally binding instrument (ILBI), its precise role is still unclear.

To ensure the effective implementation of the ecosystem approach – and ultimately more effective and future-proof governance of marine biodiversity – ILBI negotiators need to agree how the approach will be incorporated in a new treaty and to articulate clear guidance on putting it into practice.

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As the interest in accounting for ocean economies grows, we need to ensure vulnerable small-scale fishers and communities do not continue to be left behind.

More at www.iied.org:
Accounting for small-scale fisheries and the ocean

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