BBNJ TREATY (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     9th March 2024        
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Context: The Blue Leaders High-Level Event on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction was recently held in Belgium, aiming to encourage nations to ratify a new treaty aimed at safeguarding the high seas from pollution, climate change, and overfishing.

BBNJ Treaty

  • About: It also known as the Treaty of the High Seas, aims to address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction.
  • Adopted: 19 June 2023.
  • Signatories: More than 70 nations including nine ACAP Parties have signed the Agreement.
  • Ratified: So far, 88 countries are signatories to the treaty. Only two Chile and Palau have ratified it so far. The BBNJ will “enter into force” when at least 60 countries ratify it.
  • Framework of the UNCLOS: The treaty is developed within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the primary international agreement governing activities at sea.
  • Holistic Management Approach: It intends to establish a more holistic management system for high seas activities, emphasizing the balance between conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
  • Scope: BBNJ encompasses areas beyond exclusive economic zones or national waters, covering almost half of the Earth's surface according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Regulation: These areas are largely unregulated and least understood in terms of biodiversity, with only 1% currently under protection.
  • High Ambition Coalition: Launched at the One Ocean Summit in February 2022, the High Ambition Coalition on BBNJ aims to unite delegations for ambitious outcomes in the negotiations.
  • Key Elements of Negotiation: The negotiations focus on elements agreed upon in 2015, including the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, area-based management tools, environmental impact assessments, and capacity-building.
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