Promoting scientific cooperation and data sharing in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction

When :

from Thursday 22 August, 2013
to Thursday 22 August, 2013

Type of event :

Category 6-Expert Committee

Where :

UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

Contact :

In the context of commitments made at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the decision to urgently address issues related to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), including through a possible new instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was one of the most important outcomes. Nevertheless, member states still need to agree and overcome barriers in the process that can lead to an historical decision for the Ocean and the Planet.

From the point of view of science, the high seas and international seabed Area are of exceptional interest, as this biodiversity remains almost unknown and is amongst the least studied ecosystems on our planet. The process towards a new international agreement under UNCLOS on biodiversity in ABNJ should consider research and basic science as a priority, to assure funding and political support for inclusive international cooperation based on principles of public research, data sharing and equity of access to benefits from marine genetic resources.

This “Side Event” complements the presentations and discussions that took place during intersessional workshops on marine genetic resources and conservation issues in ABNJ in May 2013 at the United Nations. To underscore the importance of marine biodiversity in ABNJ for the global Oceans agenda, this side event aims to provide additional scientific information to the Member States ambassadors to improve the debate about scientific cooperation in ABNJ amongst the scientific community.

The panellists will present important information about international scientific programmes on marine biodiversity such as the Ocean Biogeographic Information Service (OBIS), the International Network for Scientific Investigation of the Deep Sea (INDEEP), the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) and Tara Oceans and debate on how inform and mobilize scientific communities on the ABNJ negotiations.


Ward Appeltans - Project Manager / Ocean Biogeographic Information System – OBIS
Patrick Halpin – Associate Professor of Marine Geospatial Ecology, Duke University
Romain Troublé - Secretary General, Tara Expeditions
Françoise Gaill - Director, INEE / CNRS France
Kristina Gjerde - Senior High Seas Policy Advisor, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme, steering committee member of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative