Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement


10:59 AM

1 min read
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Recently, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister of India has approved India to sign the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement.

About Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement: 

  • The BBNJ Agreement, or the ‘High Seas Treaty’, is an international treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • It aims to address the growing concerns over the long-term protection of marine biodiversity in the high seas.
  • It sets precise mechanisms for the sustainable use of marine biological diversity through international cooperation and coordination. Parties cannot claim or exercise sovereign rights over marine resources derived from the high seas and ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits.
  • It follows an inclusive, integrated, ecosystem-centric approach based on the precautionary principle and promotes using traditional knowledge and the best available scientific knowledge.
  • It helps minimise impacts on the marine environment through area-based management tools and establishes rules for conducting environmental impact assessments. It would also contribute to achieving several SDGs, particularly SDG14 (Life Below Water).
    • The BBNJ Agreement will be the third implementation agreement under UNCLOS if and when it enters into force, alongside its sister implementation agreements: the 1994 Part XI Implementation Agreement (which addresses the exploration and extraction of mineral resources in the international seabed area) and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement (which addresses the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks).
  • The BBNJ Agreement was agreed upon in March 2023 and is open for signature for two years starting September 2023.
  • It will be an international legally binding treaty after it enters force 120 days after the 60th ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Q1: What is United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea?

It is an international treaty that sets out the legal framework for the use and management of the world's oceans and their resources. The convention was adopted in 1982 and came into force in 1994 after it was ratified by 60 countries.

Source: Union Cabinet approves India's signing of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement