BBNJ Update along with Remarks made by Ambassador Rhonda King Permanent Representative of St. Vincent and Grenadines to the UN at the Side Event: Protecting Biodiversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction


Over the past ten years, the need to address high seas governance gaps has been an issue up for discussion within the international community. A new legal regime that addresses these gaps would allow CARICOM Member States, and other members of the international community to partake in the sharing of both monetary and non-monetary benefits, as well as the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ), including marine genetic resources (MGRs), which have economic benefits and are a significant source of protein. A few industrialized states have established patent rights over some of these recourses and these resources are now the subject of commercial exploitation.


A solution was then deemed necessary; therefore negotiating a new implementing agreement under the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has garnered significant momentum as a solution to addressing existing governance gaps relating to BBNJ. In the Rio+20 Outcome Document entitled: The Future We Want, States agreed to make a decision on whether or not to negotiate such an agreement by the end of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, or by September 2015.


CARICOM States were among those states, which advanced that the status quo was not acceptable and that Member States should work towards commencing negotiations for the adoption of the implementing agreement under UNCLOS by the stipulated deadline.


An address was given by Ambassador King at a Side Event entitled Protecting Biodiversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference) held in Apia, Samoa from 1-4 September, 2014. To view the remarks, please click here.