Press releases

September 4, 2018
Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction

On September 4, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a statement at the first session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that there is need for an international agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), building on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He recommended six elements to guide the formulation of such an agreement: a responsibilities-based perspective; a balance between the mandates for conservation and sustainable use; a focus on cooperative research, study and analysis of ocean resources, particularly water; a concentration on resources — particularly wind, sun, water and most genetic resources — rather than on human activities; a distinction between controlled, shared access to resources and regulated, sustainable use of them; the consideration of risk prevention, and not just risk mitigation measures. He noted that history shows that with regard to natural resources, activity and investment, initial public financing gives way eventually to private investment, and the international agreement should be made with this in mind.

His remarks can be found here.