Planning and Management in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ)

There is currently no legally binding mechanism for establishing MPAs outside of states’ EEZs, which makes high seas conservation difficult. At the time of this top list's creation in July 2017, a UN Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) had just agreed on recommendations for developing a legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJs). This sets up the next stage: the UN General Assembly, based on the PrepCom recommendations, is expected to convene an intergovernmental conference to negotiate the text of a global treaty on high seas conservation.

The following items offer a primer on the PrepCom's process, what governance could emerge from a new high seas treaty, and how protecting the high seas can benefit ocean ecosystems. (For additional information, visit the websites of the UN Preparatory Committee and the High Seas Alliance, an NGO highly engaged in the negotiations.)



MPA News articles

MEAM article