Addressing the Ocean-Climate Nexus in the BBNJ Agreement: Strategic Environmental Assessments, Human Rights and Equity in Ocean Science

By Elisa Morgera, Kirsty McQuaid, Giulia La Bianca, Holly Niner, Lynne Shannon, Mia Strand, Sian Rees, Kerry Howell, Bernadette Snow, Alana Malinde SN Lancaster, and Warwick Sauer

“The Agreement on Marine Biodiversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) opens a new path in international law towards addressing issues at the ocean-climate nexus, as well as considering implications for the protection of human rights and achieving equity among States in the context of ocean knowledge production and environmental management. Based on an interdisciplinary reflection, the new international obligations on strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), and new institutional arrangements, are identified as crucial avenues to addressing climate change mitigation and ensuring fair research partnerships, mutual capacity-building and technology co-development between the Global North and South. SEAs can also support integrated implementation of other parts of the BBNJ Agreement and contribute to the broader effectiveness of the general provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the protection of the marine environment, within and beyond national jurisdiction…” 

Photo: Nessim Stevenson

Related SDGs:

  • Reduced inequality
  • Climate action
  • Life below water