Sumario: EU Presidency Statement - Working Group on Marine Biodiversity, EU list of priorities (17 February 2006)
Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction; Emerging trends on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ; Statement by Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hafner, Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the European Union.
In order to assist your work in this meeting we would like to offer you our perspective on our deliberations of the past few days. You may wish to reflect emerging trends on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ in your summary. These emerging trends are in strict consistency with UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for all ocean activities - including its obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment:
Moving from words to actions: the improved implementation of existing instruments and commitments, e.g. through a concerted focus on IUU fishing and the implementation of paras 66-69 of UNGA-Res. 59/25.
Key approaches for achieving such improved implementation include: capacity building; ratification of existing instruments; a strengthened role of RFMOs including through applying UNFSA principles; cooperation, coordination and coherence among the existing institutions; an increasing focus on enforcement and compliance by flag states; and performance assessment of existing instruments.
An integrated approach in oceans management is crucial to achieve sustainable development, a balance conservation and sustainable use. This requires: compatibility of governance in marine areas within and outside of national jurisdiction; a cooperative rather than a competitive agenda; states acting coherently in different international fora.
Application of the precautionary and ecosystem approaches, using the best available science, and prior environmental impact assessment.
Acknowledgement of multiple and multi-faceted threats to marine biodiversity in ABNJ from traditional sectors such as fisheries and shipping, but new threats, such as resulting from human-induced climate change, deep sea tourism, deep seabed mining are emerging.
The need to develop appropriate criteria for the identification, development, establishment and management of MPAs, recognizing in this context the existing role and mandate of bodies such as FAO, IMO, CBD and regional seas conventions.
Multi-purpose MPAs are a key integrationist tool to manage biodiversity in ABNJ. They are an essential element towards reaching the widely agreed WSSD target to establish a global representative network of MPAs by 2012, which is only six years from now. The need to address, without prejudice to the sovereign rights of coastal states over natural resources, the issue of genetic resources, taking into account the legitimate interests of all states. This could include the development of guidelines, codes of conduct, and impact assessments.
A further advancement of scientific research into marine biodiversity including a wide sharing, dissemination and systemization of knowledge.
Full implementation of the marine scientific research provisions of UNCLOS.
Finally, the development of an UNCLOS implementation agreement on which I will be elaborating in my statement this afternoon.