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Thu 16
Fri 17 & Summary

Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction

13-17 February 2006
| UN Headquarters, New York


Highlights from Thursday, 16 February 2006

On Thursday, 16 February, the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group of the General Assembly to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (the Working Group) completed discussions on k ey issues and questions requiring more detailed backg round studies. Throughout the day, the Working Group addressed possible options and approaches to promote international cooperation and coordination.
 

     

Daily web coverage:
13 February - 14 February
- 15 February - 16 February - 17 February
 

 
 
Co-Chairs Juan Manuel Gomez-Robledo and Philip Burgess
 
 

Left to right: Jennifer McIver, New Zealand, reported on a meeting convening in Wellington, New Zealand, concurrently with the Working Group, to establish a new regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) in the South Pacific. She also highlighted the need to achieve the goal to establish a global representative network of MPAs, and to advance discussions on this matter in the Working Group. She suggested assessing the practicability, enforceability and consistency with the existing legal framework of proposals put forward during the meeting.

Alfonso Ascencio, Mexico, suggested promoting cooperation and coordination for the development of options and identification of criteria for the establishment of MPAs, through the leading role of the General Assembly and the scientific contribution of other relevant bodies.

Donna Petrachenko, Australia, highlighted the need to further consider the proposal of a new implementation agreement to improve coordination and harmonization, clarify the duty to cooperate, and define an agreed basis for setting up MPAs beyond national jurisdiction.

 
 

Left to right: Karen Sack, Greenpeace, listed the necessary elements of a new UNCLOS implementation agreement, including: specific obligations to protect high seas biodiversity based on precaution, the ecosystem approach, sustainability and equity; the recognition of the high seas as an area of scientific value and a natural reserve part of the common heritage of mankind; the prohibition of highly destructive fishing practices and sustainable fisheries management; definition of criteria and guidelines for MPAs; an obligation to establish regional environmental management organizations and a management plan for marine reserves, and to require a prior environmental impact assessment; the creation of a centralised monitoring, control and surveillance agency, a secretariat and a scientific committee; and provision for long-term funding and a timetable for review.

Robert Ovetz, Sea Turtle Restoration Project, highlighted the adverse impact of longline fishing on leatherback turtles, and urged States to comply with the General Assembly resolutions on destructive fishing practices.

Lee Kimball, IUCN, called for further work on MPAs, stronger international cooperation and capacity building on MSR, and building upon existing principles and approaches.

 
 

Carlos Duarte, Brazil (left), highlighted the need to mobilize financial resources for undertaking these studies and taking into account work done by the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

Zhan Yong, China, also encouraged increased information sharing and participation of developing countries and further technology transfer.

 
 

Favoring an inclusive approach to international cooperation, Holger Martinsen, Argentina, suggested focusing discussions on elements that ought to be included in the implementation agreement, on the basis of a “package deal” approach. He highlighted possible key elements, including: addressing access to, and benefit-sharing from, genetic resources; filling the implementation gap; addressing the legitimacy of measures adopted in areas beyond national jurisdiction, such as MPAs; strengthening flag State measures; and consolidating scientific information and data.

 
Miscellaneous Photos
 
 
EU delegates consult after the meeting adjourns
 
 

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Daily web coverage:
13 February - 14 February
- 15 February - 16 February - 17 February
 

Relevant links:

ENB coverage of conferences related to water, wetlands, oceans and coasts:

 
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