IMO welcomes new oceans treaty to protect biodiversity

IMO has welcomed the landmark agreement on a new oceans treaty to protect marine biodiversity on the high seas.  

The new legally binding international instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – known as BBNJ, was agreed on 4 March, following conclusion of the fifth round of treaty negotiations at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United States. 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “Following almost two decades of discussions and negotiations, I am pleased to see the conclusion of the new legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, which was finalized in New York on Saturday 4 March. 

“This landmark achievement will no doubt reinforce efforts to protect biodiversity in line with the aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Kunming-Montreal Global Framework for Biodiversity. 

“IMO has participated throughout the negotiations given the organization’s mandate and expertise and will continue to participate, in the implementation of the new instrument. IMO looks forward to further strengthening our cooperation with Member States, the UN family and all other stakeholders.” 

The BBNJ treaty addresses, among other things: 

  • the conservation and sustainable use of marine BBNJ; 
  • marine genetic resources, including questions on benefit-sharing (MGR); 
  • Area Based Management Tools (ABMT), including marine protected areas; 
  • environmental impact assessments (EIA); and 
  • capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology (CB&TMT). 

Photo credit: iStock/grafxart8888

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