Relationship to UNCLOS and other instruments and frameworks and relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies

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From the report of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee established by General Assembly resolution 69/292, 31/07/17 :

With regard to the relationship to the Convention, the text would state that nothing in the instrument shall prejudice the rights, jurisdiction and duties of States under the Convention. It would further state that the instrument shall be interpreted and applied in the context of and in a manner consistent with the Convention.

The text would state that the instrument would promote greater coherence with and complement existing relevant legal instruments and frameworks and relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies. It would also state that the instrument should be interpreted and applied in a manner which would not undermine these instruments, frameworks and bodies.

The text could recognize that the legal status of non-parties to the Convention or any other related agreements with regard to those instruments would not be affected.


Suggestion 1: Relationship to UNCLOS

Nothing in the instrument would prejudice the rights, jurisdiction and duties of States under UNCLOS. The instrument would be interpreted and applied in the context of and in a manner consistent with UNCLOS.

References: Article 4, UNFSA; Article 22, CBD


Suggestion 2: Relationship to other instruments

The instrument should not undermine existing relevant legal instruments and frameworks and relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies.

  • Option 1: A without-prejudice clause would assist in achieving this purpose, including a provision similar to article 44 of the UNFSA to the effect that there would be no alteration of the rights and obligations emanating from other treaties.
  • Option 2: The instrument would not affect the competence of relevant international organizations and arrangements within their areas of competence. State explicitly what role or function the instrument would not have in relation to activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction, such as is done under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.
  • Option 3: The regulations and measures put in place by the instrument and the governing body “shall be no less effective than international rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures”, in line with UNCLOS Article 208, para. 3.
  • Option 4: Standards applied in areas beyond national jurisdiction would not be lower than those for exclusive economic zones.

References: Chair’s streamlined non-paper on elements of a draft text of the ILBI at PrepCom 4; Article 22, CBD


Suggestion 3: Relationship to general international law

Matters not regulated by the Convention or by this Agreement continue to be governed by the rules and principles of general international law

References: Preamble, UNFSA


Suggestion 4: Regional cooperation

Provisions to strengthen regional level cooperation, to align and support the achievement of both global and regional-specific goals and objectives. Regional cooperation would require States Parties to work within these organizations to develop and apply proactive regional and sectoral biodiversity strategies and action plans, building on the model and provisions of the CBD for integrating biodiversity considerations into all aspects of management. The core part of this process would be consultation.

References: CBD integrated ecosystem service approach