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Future exploitation in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction

Posted at June 30, 2020 | Categories : News |

Negotiations are now underway within the United Nations on a new implementing agreement to the Convention on the Law of the Sea. This report is the result of a forward-looking project that has tried to foresee which kind of activities/exploitations or type of resource extraction that may develop in the areas concerned. It has also looked at the possible value that strategic environmental assessment can bring to the future exploration phase.

Nearly 70% of the world’s maritime areas are beyond national jurisdiction. These areas and their biodiversity are facing an increased interest. In recent decades, the exploitation of the High seas and its biodiversity has increased, while these areas and the effects of exploitation on their biodiversity remain relatively unexplored. Negotiations are now under way within the United Nations on a new implementing agreement on the Convention on the Law of the Sea to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (the BBNJ agreement).

In light of this negotiation, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management has commissioned Anthesis to carry out an investigation trying to look into the future and to try to foresee what new types of activities/exploitations or what kind of resource extraction might develop in the areas concerned within a time horizon of 30-50 years or more. An extension of the investigation was done for the West Indian Ocean. This part aimed at investigating which of these activities are conceivable and which conditions that exist for the region’s coastal states and island nations to take economic advantage of the exploitation.

Anthesis reports 2020:04 and 2020:10 present the results, and can be found under Publications.

Read more about the assignment at the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management website.