Implementing the Duty to Cooperate under the 1982 UNCLOS for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction under a New BBNJ Agreement

In: The Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law
Nilufer Oral Director, Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore Member, International Law Commission Singapore

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This article examines the duty to cooperate under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in relation to the obligations of States to protect and preserve the marine environment and in relation to the protection of the marine environment in areas beyond national jurisdiction. It demonstrates that the new Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement plays an important role in creating the necessary mechanisms for cooperation, thereby fulfilling the multiple obligations that States have under UNCLOS to cooperate regarding the protection and preservation of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Additionally, the BBNJ Agreement provides an important opportunity for States to effectively operationalize the UNCLOS provisions for marine scientific research, as well as the development and transfer of marine technology and capacity building. This article further analyses the duty to cooperate in relation to area-based management tools and environmental impact assessments, which are also key components of a broad framework of global cooperation under the BBNJ Agreement.

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