This policy brief explores how integrated ecosystem-based management (EBM) in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) can be advanced at the regional level and how the BBNJ Agreement (“international legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction") can build on experiences in other legally binding agreements to strengthen regional cooperation, coordination and coherence.

To this end, five building blocks are identified:

1. A robust global body such as a Conference of Parties capable of taking decisions and adopting recommendations 

2. A suite of regional mechanisms for integrated policy development and coordination

3. Effective science-policy advisory mechanisms

4. Overarching environmental obligations and principles; and 5. Operational principles to ensure good governance.

Key Messages

The BBNJ Agreement could include duties to:

1. Pursue cooperation at the regional level directly and through the relevant organizations and mechanisms

2. Pursue in good faith effective conservation and management measures to enable biodiversity protection, conservation and sustainable use

3. Become members of relevant regional coordination and cooperation mechanisms orto agree to apply the measures adopted by the relevant regional mechanisms

4. Cooperate to achieve compatible measures for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and sustainable use

5. Take into account existing measures

6. Take into account ecological and biological connectivity as well as associated and dependent species and ecosystems, including migratory species

7. Exchange information on measures adopted

8. Recognize and support the special requirements of developing States

9. Exercise best efforts to agree on compatible measures within a reasonable period of time and to agree to participate in dispute resolution procedures

10. Assist developing states to lift capacity

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