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SOS Session Sportlight – UN Law of the Sea: Industry Input to BBNJ Treaty

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SOS Session Sportlight – UN Law of the Sea: Industry Input to BBNJ Treaty


Session time: 9 D

Program BBNJ3

©2020 World Ocean Council | 3035 Hibiscus Drive, Suite 1, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 USA

ec GMT 8-9:30PM 

Date Theme

Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) Workshop to Address Industry implications and Inputs to BBNJ Treaty

With only one more BBNJ negotiating session planned, there is very little time for ocean industries to have a voice in this critical ocean governance process that will affect business access and operations in the high seas for the foreseeable future. Industry involvement is critical and can help ensure that policies and regulations are developed with full and balanced information, are based on good science and risk assessment, are practical and implementable and engender the involvement and support of the ocean business community.

Peter Hinchliffe, Former Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, will chair a special BBNJ session at the SOS 2020, which will consider:

How will the legally binding BBNJ agreement affect ocean industries when it is adopted?
What are the comments and concerns from responsible industry about the draft treaty text concerning: a) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and b) Area Based Management Tools (ABMT)?
How can and should ocean industries engage with each other and with other ocean stakeholders, including governments, as the BBNJ agreement moves to its final negotiations?

The session will begin with presentation of expert analysis of the 2 aspects of the treaty most likely to affect industry:
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)/Strategic EIA: Renee Grogan, Director, Gro Sustainability (presented by Peter Glazebrook, WOC Associate)
Area Based Management Tools (ABMT): Greg Fisk, Business Development Director, BMT

The interaction of the workshop starts now, you can post your questions, your comments, and introduce your projects that is relevant to BBNJ. Sharing your thought ahead of time will help us prepare for the session, and we also look forward to seeing you in the live session.


The 4th and final formal BBNJ negotiating session is due to take place at the U.N. HQ in New York early 2021 (after having been postponed from April 2020). The WOC will again be at the negotiating session to ensure industry involvement. The WOC CEO has been participating in the BBNJ process since it began over a decade ago to ensure that the ocean business community is present and engaged in this effort to develop the most important new legal regime for the ocean since the establishment of the U.N. Law of the Sea in the 1970s.

The WOC is also working to develop an Ocean EIA working group to pull together marine EIA experience, case studies and best practices to help ensure the BBNJ treaty’s EIA requirements are practical, implementable and best able to achieve the goals of the treaty in partnership with the private sector.

In preparation for the start of the formal BBNJ Negotiations, in 2018 the WOC released a report on “Ocean Governance and the Private Sector” – a review of major international ocean policy organizations and processes, the past and ongoing efforts for engaging the business community and priorities for the future, especially for the WOC in its role as the global, multi-industry organization on ocean sustainable development.

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