The recently adopted High Seas (BBNJ) treaty establishes a mechanism for the creation of Marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas, which was missing until now and which will facilitate the implementation of the “30x30 target” (30% of Earth's land and ocean area are designated as protected areas by 2030) adopted under the 2022 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. However, while recent years have seen a rapid increase in the designation of MPAs in waters under national jurisdiction, providing managers, scientists and experts with the enhanced knowledge necessary to ensure effective implementation, experience remains limited in the high seas and the management model for MPAs under BBNJ treaty is yet to be developed.
In this context, IDDRI aims to highlight the necessary conditions for an effective management of future high seas MPAs, focusing on two elements critical for their effectiveness:

  • Funding. Estimating the financing needs of MPAs is inherently challenging, even for coastal MPAs, and this topic remains largely unexplored in relation to the high seas. How much will the annual management of a high seas MPA cost? What is the breakdown between the different budget items? What are the possible sources of funding?
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS). Without effective MCS of human activities, MPAs will be little more than "paper parks". What means are available to conduct MCS for high seas MPAs? What capacities do existing organisations have? How can the BBNJ Agreement leverage and support these capacities?