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Decision-making body/forum

From IUCN Marine Biodiversity Matrix
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From the report of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee, 31/07/17 :

The text would set out an institutional framework for decision-making, as well as the functions that could be performed. Possible functions that a decision-making body/forum would perform in support of the implementation of the instrument could include:

  • adopting its rules of procedure;
  • reviewing implementation of the instrument;
  • exchange of information relevant to the implementation of the instrument;
  • promoting coherence among efforts towards the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction;
  • promoting cooperation and coordination, including with relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies towards the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction;
  • making decisions and recommendations related to the implementation of the instrument;
  • establishing subsidiary bodies as necessary for the performance of its functions; and
  • other functions identified in the instrument.

Suggestion 1: Strong new institutional structure

Establish a strong new institutional structure with substantive powers, including a decision-making body/forum References: CBD Art 23, 24 25 (COP, Secretariat, SBSTA), CMS Art VII, VIII, IX (COP, Scientific Council, Secretariat), REGULATION (EU) No 1380/2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy art 43, 44 and 45 (Regional Advisory Councils)

Suggestion 2: Expand mandate of ISA to serve as basis of institutional structure

Expand mandate of the ISA and its constituent bodies so that:

  • the Assembly of the ISA acts as decision-making body for this agreement

This would normally imply the amendment of the UNCLOS under article 312.

References: UNCLOS Part XI. Section 4. The Authority, UNCLOS Art 312 (amendment), Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS, Annex, Section 1, 4.

Suggestion 3: Develop institutional structure based on Antarctic Treaty model and DOALOS

As under the Antarctic Treaty, the Parties of the I.A. could meet in a forum to exchange information, consult on matters of common interest and formulate recommendations addressing the I.A key elements (conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ).

References: Antarctic Treaty Art IX, Madrid Protocol, Art 10, 11, 12, DOALOS, Secretary-General's Bulletin ST/SGB/2008/13

Suggestion 4: Functions of decision-making body

Decision-making body will have authority to:

  • adopt decisions
  • develop SEAs or other assessment tools
  • provide a regular forum to enhance cooperation and coordination across States institutions and non-state sectors
  • administer and coordinate capacity building and technology transfer activities
  • coordinate between States parties and administrators of any funds
  • act as a focal point for BBNJ in relation to existing institutions
  • contribute to linkage between policy, scientific and commercial activities
  • manage outreach to stakeholders and the general public
  • undertake both long-term planning and respond to short term emergencies
  • designation of a network of MPAs
  • facilitae and review of EIAs and SEAs, and
  • manage a efit sharing regime for marine genetic resources.

Notes: a global level mechanism is needed to decide on and coordinate global priorities and providing time bound processes for their implementation including through and in cooperation with existing institutions.


Suggestion 5: Operation of a global decision-making body

Several suggestions for the operation as fellows :

  • The effectiveness of regulations and measures put in place by the global body shall be no less than international rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures (UNCLOS Part V Article 208).
  • Participation in meetings could be open to non-Parties, relevant inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, in an observer capacity.
  • Existing regional and sectoral organizations, civil society, and other stakeholders as appropriate, should have the possibility to give input in the decision-making process.
  • The selection of a venue for the meetings should take fully into account the particular capacity constraints of delegations, and in particular SIDS.


Suggestion 6: Establishing some decision-making and implementation at the regional level

Several suggestions related to decision-making and implementation at the regional level:

  • The instrument should encourage States Parties to cooperate through regional instruments with an objective to implement measures adopted under the new instrument.
  • Establishing regional/sub-regional forums prior to the meeting of the global body could be relevant to improve the implementation of the instrument to the global body.
  • Establishing regional/sub-regional forums could strengthen cooperation among representatives of existing regional organizations, existing sectoral organizations, international organizations, and other stakeholders.
  • In order to strengthen cooperation and harmonization between the international and regional level, existing subregional or regional organization or arrangement having the competence to establish conservation and sustainable use measures could welcome States Parties to the instrument to become a member of such organization.
  • Cooperation between a State Party which is not a member of a subregional or regional organization or arrangement or is not a participant in a subregional or regional organization or arrangement would foster implementation of conservation and management of the relevant fisheries resources measures adopted by such organization or arrangement.
  • Opening meetings of subregional and regional organizations and arrangements to representatives from relevant organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, concerned with biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction as observers. An access to the records and reports of such meetings could be given to such representatives.

Notes: Decision-making at the regional level can be more adequate to take into account regional and sub-regional specificities.


Also see