Scientific/Technical Body

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From the report of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee, 31/07/17 :

The text would set out an institutional framework for scientific advice/information.

It would also set out the functions that such an institutional framework would perform, such as providing advice to the decision-making body/forum specified in the instrument and such other functions as may be determined by the decision- making body/forum.


Suggestion 1: Establishing a scientific/technical body[edit | edit source]

Several suggestions for establishing scientific and/or technical body as a subsidiary body, as follows:

  • Utilizing scientific committees under existing frameworks. Using as a reference the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf by organizing scientific committees in chambers or sub-commissions.
  • Establishing one scientific committee covering all sea areas.
  • Establishing multiple scientific committees with each one covering a sea area.

Suggestion 2: Composition of a scientific/technical body[edit | edit source]

The possible composition of these bodies could include:

  • Multidisciplinary subject-matter experts nominated by governments, including from States Parties on issues covered by the instrument.
  • Representatives and international experts specializing in various elements of the instrument, for example from the FAO and the IMO.
  • Experts in or relevant traditional knowledge holders.

Suggestion 3: General functions of scientific/technical body[edit | edit source]

A scientific and/or technical subsidiary body could perform the following functions:

  • Decision-making, this could be by consensus in principle.
  • Making recommendations to the global body in relation to the different issues addressed in the instrument.
  • Identifying new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • Providing advice on scientific programmes and international cooperation in research and development related to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • Responding to scientific, technical, technological and methodological questions that the decision-making body and its subsidiary bodies might submit.
  • Providing regular assessments of the state of scientific knowledge of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Due consideration could be given, among others, to the question of what kind of input could be received from the Regular Process, as well as other relevant processes (such as the EBSA process).
  • Carrying out additional functions such as those of a financial, budgetary and legal nature, as deemed necessary.

Suggestion 4: Functions of a scientific/technical body related to MPAs[edit | edit source]

The Scientific/Technical body could perform the following functions:

  • provide advice to the COP on the development of a long term strategic plan for a coherent representative, and integrated network of MPAs based on scientific priorities for the conservation of marine biodiversity in ABNJ;
  • develop criteria for the establishment of MPAs including scientific, socio-economic, cultural and educational values;
  • propose MPAs and review proposals for MPAs from States and competent international organisations through an independent peer reviewed evaluation process;
  • review implementation of the management plans of MPAs in ABNJ on a regular basis;
  • recommend adjustment or modification of MPA management plans in ABNJ to reflect the status of the marine biodiversity in the area ensuring that cumulative impacts are taken into account;
  • perform a coordination and communication role informing regional or sectoral bodies of new MPAs and facilitating communication between these bodies to implement management plans and monitoring obligations for MPAs
  • provide advice on and oversee marine spatial planning (MSP) processes in particular areas of ABNJ
  • produce annual synthesis reports on the implementation of ABMT management plans in ABNJ which would be publicly available
  • provide advice on the inclusion of a broader and more representative range of stakeholders in the proposal, designation and implementation of MPAs and MSP in ABNJ
  • establish a pool of scientific and technical experts to assist in developing proposals and managing the implementation of ABMTs in ABNJ.

Suggestion 5: Establishing additional subsidiary bodies[edit | edit source]

Additional subsidiary bodies could be established under the instrument as follows:

  • An SEA/EIA administrative oversight committee.
  • A compliance committee to review general issues of compliance and implementation of the instrument.
  • A finance and administration committee.
  • A committee on capacity-building and transfer of marine technology.
  • A mechanism/entity with a mandate to oversee access and benefit-sharing of marine genetic resources.

Notes: Taking into account the special case of SIDS, each of the subsidiary bodies could allocate dedicated seats to SIDS.

Suggestion 6: Establishing regional arrangements[edit | edit source]

At the regional level, establishing regional arrangements could facilitate implementation of the instrument, including regional experts panels or committees, such as regional area-based management committees, regional capacity-building and transfer of marine technology committees, regional enforcement committees, and regional finance and administration committees.

Also see[edit | edit source]