A landmark moment: more than 70 nations sign treaty to protect the ocean beyond national jurisdictions

Ecuador and Brazil Signing BBNJ Agreement 1920 900pxACAP Parties, Ecuador and Brazil, have both signed the BBNJ Agreement. Pictured (left - right) H.E. Mr. Gustavo Manrique Miranda, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of the Republic of Ecuador and H.E. Mr. Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil

More than 70 nations including nine ACAP Parties have signed the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction. 

The treaty also known as the agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction or 'BBNJ', opened for signature on Wednesday 20 September at the 78th U.N. General Assembly in New York. 

The BBNJ, which covers the near two-thirds of the ocean lying outside national boundaries, is a legally binding instrument aiming to protect marine biodiversity in international waters. 

It provides a legal framework for governing the vast areas of waters beyond national boundaries by incorporating a number of mechanisms to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ. These include, provisions on marine genetic resources, environmental impact assessments, the creation of marine protected areas, and more.

ACAP Parties, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, France, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom have signed the BBNJ. The full list of signatories can be found at the UN site for the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, here.

The BBNJ will remain open for signature at United Nations Headquarters in New York until 20 September 2025 and requires 60 ratifications to enter into force.

02 October 2023

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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