Gjerde, K.M., Clark, N.A., Chazot, C. et al. (2022). Getting beyond yes: fast-tracking implementation of the United Nations agreement for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. npj Ocean Sustain 1, 6 (2022).
With a new international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) on the horizon, now is the time to start laying the foundation for successful implementation. This paper provides some initial reflections for supporting rapid, effective, and equitable implementation of the BBNJ Agreement in three priority areas: (1) bringing the Agreement into force; (2) establishing the institutional framework, including financial mechanisms; and (3) developing capacity, science, and technology. With reference to selected examples from other international processes, the paper makes suggestions for encouraging wide ratification of the BBNJ Agreement, establishing a Preparatory Commission (PrepCom), mobilizing resources, and building partnerships to advance science and capacity. The growing impacts of climate change and human activities on the global ocean necessitate urgent action, so we must begin to work on the implementation of the BBNJ Agreement as soon as possible to secure ocean health for the benefit of present and future generations.