The Impact of the BBNJ Agreement on the Legal Framework for the Governance of the Central Arctic Ocean

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
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The negotiations on the development of an international legally binding instrument 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 (“BBNJ Agreement”) could have a major impact on the governance of the Central Arctic Ocean, depending on how the BBNJ Agreement structures its relationship with relevant regional instruments, frameworks, and bodies, and whether the agreement will recognise any special rights or interests for ‘adjacent States’ in the governance of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Given the regulatory gaps in Arctic Ocean governance, the BBNJ Agreement has a potential gap-filling role. The BBNJ process could either stimulate the development of a regional regulatory framework for the CAO or shift the regional approach prevalent in many aspects of Arctic Ocean governance to a more globally oriented approach by adding a global layer of governance.

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