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14 May HTML version PDF format HTML version PDF format
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Fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction

7-11 May 2012 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

UN HQ
United Nations Headquarters from First Avenue.
Fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdictionThe fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (the Working Group) convened from Monday, 7 May to Friday, 11 May 2012 at UN Headquarters in New York, with a view to providing recommendations to the UN General Assembly at its sixty-seventh session.

The Working Group focused on: marine genetic resources, including questions on the sharing of benefits, measures such as area-based management tools, including marine protected areas, and environmental impact assessments, capacity-building, and the transfer of marine technology; the organization of intersessional workshops aimed at improving understanding of the issues and clarifying key questions as an input to the work of the Working Group; and the identification of gaps and ways forward, with a view to ensuring an effective legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Friday, 11 May

On Friday morning, Co-Chair Lijnzaad reported that the Friends of the Co-Chairs group had met until 10:15pm on Thursday night, and was due to reconvene to complete its work. Several delegations questioned the fact that the Co-Chairs group format does not allow for NGO participation. WWF expressed disappointment on behalf of all NGOs present at the Working Group’s meeting that the question of whether to allow the participation of a limited number of civil society representatives into the Friends of the Co-Chairs group was not discussed in plenary. Delegates also briefly discussed the aims of the intersessional workshops under discussion in the Friends of the Co-Chairs group. Co-Chair Lijnzaad suspended the session, and reconvened the Friends of the Co-Chairs meeting until 3:00pm.

In the afternoon, Co-Chair Kohona reported that the Friends of the Co-Chairs group had reached agreement on an annex providing terms of reference for the intersessional workshops. Delegates agreed to continue consideration of the Co-Chairs' non-paper containing draft recommendations in plenary. After consensus was not reached on four paragraphs, plenary was suspended in the evening while a small drafting group deliberated. Plenary resumed at 10.45pm to adopt the recommendations and terms of reference for the intersessional workshops. The meeting was gaveled to a close at 11:03pm by Co-Chair Lijnzaad.

Full web coverage available here: 11 May

Gavel shot

Co-Chair Liesbeth Lijnzaad, Netherlands, gaveled the meeting to a close at 11:03pm.

Sophie Mirgaux and Sue Lieberman
Sophie Mirgaux, Belgium, chatted with Sue Lieberman, Pew Environment Group, in the corridors.
Brice Lalonde
Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator for Rio+20, announced the launch of RioDialogues.Org, a site to ask the online public for their input on numerous topics, including oceans.
Delegates chatted

Michael Kabai, South Africa, Robert Borje, Philippines, and Joan Yang, Nauru, chatted before the afternoon session.

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Thursday, 10 May

On Thursday morning, the Working Group heard a report of the work of the Open-ended Friends of the Co-Chairs group, which reconvened throughout the day to discuss a Co-Chairs' non-paper on the Working Group's recommendations. In the evening, Co-Chair Lijnzaad reported that the Friends of the Co-Chairs group had nearly finished a first reading of the draft recommendations and would continue its work into the evening.

Greenpeace, WWF, Pew Environment Group, Deep Sea Conservative Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Marine Conservation Institute and the International Ocean Noise Coalition urged states favoring an implementing agreement to stand their ground while the closed-door deliberations continue, and ensure this meeting's outcome does not undermine efforts that will be made at Rio+20.

Full web coverage available here: 10 May

NLCB CR2 Room Shot

Conference Room 2 before the day's meeting.

Pew/HSA Side Event

At lunchtime, the Pew Environment Group (The High Seas Alliance) presented a side event on "Biodiversity conservation on the high seas: challenges and opportunities."

Love & Peace Rose
A Love & Peace rose, in the rose garden at UN Headquarters.
Peace Rose
A Peace rose, in the rose garden at UN Headquarters.
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Wednesday, 9 May

On Wednesday morning, the Working Group heard an expert presentation on Intellectual Property Rights in an informal information session. Delegates then resumed consideration of gaps and ways forward, and of plans for intersessional workshops. In the evening, an Open-ended Friends of the Co-Chairs group reconvened to discuss the outcome of the Working Group.

Full web coverage available here: 9 May

River walk panorama

A panoramic view from the UN river walk.

IUCN/CBD/GOBI/IDDRI/AMP Side Event

At lunchtime, IUCN, the CBD Secretariat and the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations and the French Marine Protected Areas Agency, held a side event, "An Update on CBD's Work on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas and IUCN/partner seminars on marine protected areas beyond national jurisdiction."

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Tuesday, 8 May

On Tuesday morning, participants heard expert presentations on the conservation of BBNJ and on the use and development of marine genetic resources, in an informal information session.

Delegates then resumed consideration of conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ and in the afternoon started discussions on gaps and ways forward, and on intersessional workshops. In the evening, an Open-Ended Friends of the Co-Chairs group convened to discuss the format of the Working Group’s recommendations.

Full web coverage available here: 8 May

NGO and fisheries delegates

Delegates from NGOs and fisheries organizations before the day's meeting.

GEF/FAO Programme Side Event

At lunchtime, the Global Ocean Forum, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and Global Environment Facility held a side event, "Briefing on the GEF/FAO Programme on Global Sustainable Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction."

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Monday, 7 May

On Monday morning, delegates addressed organizational issues, discussing the wording and sequence of agenda items. In the afternoon, delegates delivered opening statements and started substantive discussions on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Full web coverage available here: 7 May

Opening Dais

The dais just before the start of the opening plenary. L-R: Serguei Tarassenko, Director, DOALOS; Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs; Co-Chair Liesbeth Lijnzaad, the Netherlands; Co-Chair Amb. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka; Alice Hicuburundi, Secretary, DOALOS; and Luigi Santosuosso, DOALOS Secretariat.

UNU/UNESCO/IUCN/IDDRI Marine Genetic Resources side event

At lunchtime, a side event on "Marine Genetic Resources" was presented by the United Nations University, UNESCO, IUCN, and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations.

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Your Earth Negotiations Bulletin Team
ENB Team with Secretariat Staff

Members of the DOALOS Secretariat and Earth Negotiations Bulletin team for the 5th Session of the Working Group: (L-R) Michael Kearney, Secretariat, Claudio Chiarolla, ENB Writer, Luigi Santosuosso, Secretariat, Alice Hicuburundi, DOALOS Secretary, Charlotte Salpin, Secretariat, Marco Boccia, Secretariat, Tallash Kantai, ENB Writer, Elisa Morgera, ENB Team Leader, Dan Birchałl, ENB Digital Editor. Photo by Daniela Diz.

Related Links
UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea resources
*Meeting website
*Meeting provisional agenda
*Draft format and draft annotated provisional agenda and organization of work
*Meeting side events
*Fourth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group - Presentations on selected topics
*Second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group - Abstracts of scientific presentations

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of the Twelfth Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-12), 20-24 June 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of the Fourth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, 31 May - 3 June 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS Briefing Note of the Third meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, 1-5 February 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 18-29 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan
IISD RS coverage of the Selected Side Events at CBD COP 10, 18-29 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan
IISD RS coverage of ICP-11, 21-25 June 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of the Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group on Marine Biodiversity to Study Issues Relating to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction, 28 April - 2 May 2008, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of ICP-10, 17-19 June 2009, UN Headquarters in New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of ICP-9, 23-27 June 2008, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of CBD COP 9, 19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of the Selected Side Events at CBD COP 9, 19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of ICP-8, 25-29 June 2007, UN headquarters, New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of the First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group on Marine Biodiversity 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, United States of America
*IISD RS archive of meetings on biodiversity; and backgrounder
*IISD RS archive of meetings on water, oceans, and wetlands; and backgrounder
*Biodiversity-L - A mailing list for news on biodiversity and wildlife policy
*Oceans-L - A news and announcement list on oceans policy issues
*Water-L - A news and announcement list on water policy issues
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Sustainable Energy Activities
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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