policy brief: the need for strategic environmental assessments and regional environmental assessment in abnj for ecologically meaningful management

“The latest draft negotiating text for a new international instrument on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) includes a provision on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) that should be further strengthened to ensure that the BBNJ Agreement contributes to 1) advancing ocean science, 2) ensuring strategic decisions on cumulative impacts to the benefit of more effective implementation of all other elements of the BBNJ Agreement, and 3) contributing to climate change mitigation. To that end, it is necessary for SEAs to include explicitly Regional Environmental Assessments (REAs) to collect existing information on marine biodiversity at a regional scale, which is essential to enable environmental management at a scale that is ecologically-meaningful….”