News 25 October 2023

Dialogue on the High Seas Treaty – Content and Opportunities for the Western Indian Ocean Region

SwAM and the Nairobi Convention hosted a technical dialogue on the High Seas Treaty on 11 October 2023. The goal for the event was to increase shared understanding on the newly adopted BBNJ Treaty on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, also known as the High Seas Treaty.

Speaker Ms. Karin Wall, Head of Legal Issues, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, provided a status update on the High Seas Treaty.

4 pillars of the High Seas Treaty

After delivering an overview of the treaty and its function in international ocean law, Ms Karin Wall delved into one of its four pillars, namely EIA, Environmental Impact Assessment in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.

The EIA provisions of the treaty will ensure that activities on the high seas are assessed, in order to prevent, mitigate, and manage adverse environmental impacts and protect and preserve the marine environment.

This was followed by presentations by other invited speakers with experience from governance and academia on the other three pillars, being:

  • marine genetic resources and procedures for transparency and profit sharing
  • area based management tools including Marine Protected Areas
  • capacity building and technical transfer of marine technology

Financial support opportunities

In the final session, representatives from the Global Environment Facility and the Bloomberg Ocean Fund discussed how developing countries can apply for financial support to enable a ratification process as well as building capacity to implement and make use of the treaty once it becomes legally binding.

Dialogue part of ocean governance in Western Indian Ocean

The webinar was part of a dialogue series that feed in to the process of shaping the Regional Ocean Governance Strategy in the Western Indian Ocean region.

It was also part of SwAM’s programme for development cooperation, SwAM Ocean.

Immerse yourself

Immerse yourself in the High Seas Treaty and the discussions held at the webinar:

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Published: 2023-10-25