This report elaborated in the context of the STRONG High Seas project demonstrates that there is both a need and opportunity to increase the interplay between the regional and global levels of ocean governance through a new global agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). 


  • Regional ocean institutions, processes and coordination mechanisms should play a significant role in advancing the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ by contributing to improved global governance of the ocean. Achieving this potential will require a strong and comprehensive global level agreement.
  • Successful cross-sectoral cooperation in conserving biodiversity in ABNJ requires a common goal or purpose and overarching set of principles, shared between managing bodies, as well as transparent, participatory, and inclusive decision-making, and appropriate distribution of power. Such elements should be included in an international agreement for marine biodiversity in ABNJ (“BBNJ agreement”).
  • Lessons learnt from the regional and sectoral levels can guide the development of provisions in a new BBNJ agreement to ensure that it is legally both comprehensive and strong, as well as adapted to the reality of its implementation in the ocean governance landscape.
  • The regional and sectoral levels can underpin global standards established in a new BBNJ agreement by developing, implementing and enforcing regionally or sectorally-based agreements. This allows them to consider the specificity of the region, its challenges and needs, as well as go beyond the standards established by a new BBNJ agreement.
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