Scientific/Technical Body

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From the procedural 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 subsidiary body

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 subsidiary body

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: Functions of scientific and/or technical subsidiary body

A scientific and/or technical subsidiary body could perform the possible 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: Establishing additional subsidiary bodies

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 5: Establishing regional arrangements

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.


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