States at the United Nations are currently negotiating an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) and there is a growing interest in how Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) tools and policies can contribute to the management of this vast global commons. The negotiations therefore provide an important opportunity to learn from the wealth of experience gained to date and strengthen existing provisions, thereby facilitating harmonised and efficient MCS that can ultimately ensure effective implementation of rules on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.

Key Messages

Proposals to strengthen MCS through a new instrument

  • 1. Reinforce MCS flag State obligations in the text and ensure the principles and related obligations of cooperation and coordination, transparency and reporting are applied throughout the agreement.
  • 2. Specify that a clearing-house mechanism will serve as a platform to share good MCS practices, exchange data on MCS activities and match capacity-building needs in relation to MCS tools and methods for assessment.
  • 3. Require States parties to submit a MCS strategy together with ABMT/MPA proposals that considers the possible technological tools and institutional capacity available to ensure compliance with any proposed measures or management plan.
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