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

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: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversity/prepcom.htm


About Mariamalia Rodriguez Chaves

Mariamalia has more than ten years of experience working with environmental nongovernmental organizations and as an independent consultant on diverse environmental topics, such as renewable energy, urban planning, marine conservation and management schemes, fisheries management, among other subjects. She is a PhD candidate in the School of Law of the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). She lectured a Law of the Sea course in NUIG (2016), and her PhD research topic is “Regionalizing global legal commitments in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: The case of the Costa Rica Dome.” She has a Law Degree (2006) from the University of Costa Rica, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law (2009) from the same University. Mariamalia successfully accomplished the United Nations - Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship 2013-2014. Within the Fellowship program, she spent the first phase as an intern in the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS). The second phase of the program took place in the National University of Ireland Galway, where she did research on conservation schemes applicable to the high seas, focusing on the Costa Rica Dome. She also participated in the Comparative Environmental Law Program, University of Florida – University of Costa Rica (2007), where she did research on community-based artisanal fishing grounds in Tarcoles, Costa Rica; and has undertaken additional Law of the Sea and Environmental Law courses organized by the Costa Rica Bar Association and other organizations. She worked at the MarViva Foundation as legal adviser in the Policy Advocacy Department (2009-2012), and afterwards as High Seas Programme Coordinator (2014-2015), focusing on the promotion of the Costa Rica Dome initiative and following closely the United Nations negotiation process on conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction; as well as supporting Latin American representatives, building partnerships and facilitating technical advice to Government authorities and other NGOs. Currently she works as a consultant for The Pew Charitable Trusts on high seas topics. Her publications include the “Anatomy of a new international instrument for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction: First impressions of the preparatory process” (Long, Rodriguez Chaves, 2016), “A proposal for the establishment of a Regional management framework for the Costa Rica Dome” (Rodríguez, 2013); the “Manual on coastal and marine and fisheries legislation in Costa Rica” (Cajiao, Lobo and Rodríguez, 2010) and “Conserving marine resources in Costa Rica: marine protected areas and other figures for sustainable use” (Rodríguez, 2011).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *