Game-changing negotiations on marine biodiversity in ABNJ are now underway at the UN!

“The ocean holds a value to humankind that goes far beyond the monetary. It makes our planet habitable and there isn’t a price tag large enough to reflect that. Our collective commitment to preserving its value should be just as limitless.”

Starting today, States have an extraordinary opportunity to change the trajectory of ocean decline and loss, and protect the biodivesity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

On 19 June 2015, General Assembly Resolution 69/292 committed Member States to “develop an international legally-binding instrument under the Convention on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.”

 A Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) has the task to make “substantive recommendations to the General Assembly on the elements of a draft text of an international legally-binding instrument,” by the end of 2017. The resulting draft will then be negotiated at an Intergovernmental Conference, the timing of which be decided by the UNGA before September 2018.

This is a hugely exciting, positive, and long-awaited development! A robust and far reaching Treaty to protect the marine biodiversity in ABNJ will change the way the world engages with its largest ecosystem and biosphere.

You can follow the development of the discussions, State´s submissions and other relevant information in this link:


General Assembly, Stressing Importance of Healthy Oceans, Seas for Both Coastal, Landlocked States, Adopts Resolution on Sustainable Fisheries without Vote

ga70-logo-blueFrom the United Nations Meeting Coverage

Action Deferred on Draft Text Addressing Oceans and the Law of Sea (due to budgetary considerations)

With more than two dozen speakers and the heads of two of the world’s ocean and sea authorities proclaiming the crucial importance of healthy oceans and seas to coastal and landlocked States alike, the General Assembly today adopted a resolution on sustainable fisheries without a vote while deferring action on a draft text on oceans and the Law of the Sea.


The General Assembly met to consider agenda items on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, and had before it the reports of the Secretary-General (documents A/70/74 and A/70/74/Add.1); the report of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the States of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects (document A/70/418); the report on the work of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process (document A/70/78); and the letter from the Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to the President of the General Assembly (document A/70/112).  Action would also be taken on the draft resolution on oceans and the law of the sea (document A/70/L.22).

Read the summary of interventions here:

[button color=”blue” size=”small” link=”” target=”blank” ]70 GA Oceans Item[/button]


United Nations General Assembly considers Oceans and Law of the Sea and Sustainable Fisheries Resolutions



Speeches are available here, under Tuesday, 8 December
[button color=”blue” size=”small” link=”” target=”blank” ]GA Docs[/button]

The General Assembly Homepage can be found here
[button color=”blue” size=”small” link=”” target=”blank” ]GA Homepage[/button]


Brazil signs contract with the International Seabed Authority to promote scientific exploration in the Area


[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n november 2015, a contract was signed between the Brazilian Geological Survey (CPRM) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for implementing the work plan for the exploration of cobalt crusts in the Rio Grande Rise region, an Area of the South Atlantic. The recent geological and environmental recognition of the Rio Grande Rise allowed Brazil to submit, in 2013, the first proposal for exploration of cobalt crusts in the Atlantic Ocean. This process, approved in 2014, highlighted the Brazilian scientific capacity to exercise such leadership. The approved Plan proposes  geological and environmental studies at the Rio Grande Rise for the next 15 years, to conduct scientific exploration activity. The program is divided into three stages, each with 5 years duration. The signing of this contract will start the process set out in the Work Plan.

More info here.

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Ocean Yearbook Call for Papers – Volume 31 (deadline 31 March 2016)

Ocean Yearbook Call for Papers – Volume 31

The International Ocean Institute’s major publication is the Ocean Yearbook, published by Brill Nijhoff in cooperation with the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. For more information, see and

Articles on issues and prospects, ocean governance, living resources of the ocean, non-living ocean resources, transportation and communications, environment and coastal management, maritime security, military activities, regional developments, training and education, and ocean polar issues will be considered for Volume 31.

The objectives of the Ocean Yearbook include encouraging emerging young scholars and fostering contributions from developing countries. Deadline March 31, 2016.
Ocean Yearbook Student Prize 2016

The Ocean Yearbook Student Prize is an annual competition open to students writing research papers on marine affairs subjects at any university or other tertiary education institution. Deadline May 15, 2016.

Ocean Yearbook is also available online: