An institutional framework for addressing marine genetic resources under the proposed treaty for marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction
In December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene an intergovernmental conference to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This legally binding instrument would address four elements, namely marine protected areas, marine genetic resources, environmental impact assessments and capacity building and technology transfer. One of the indicators for the success of the legally binding instrument will be an institutional mechanism that is both effective and that can co-exist with existing mechanisms. There is already a proposal for an institutional mechanism under the implementing agreement. However, the proposed institutional mechanism was developed largely with marine protected areas in mind. The purpose of this article is to determine whether this proposed mechanism could work also for the marine genetic resources element of the proposed treaty. This is necessitated by the fact that the marine genetic resources element of the proposed treaty is far more complex and raises issues that are more intractable.
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