On November 24th, 2023, 13:00 -14:00 UTC, we will have a Special Session on the Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) and its implications for science and science capacity-building.
The BBNJ Agreement is the most important international agreement on ocean governance since the signing of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1982. Its goal is to safeguard the ocean’s biodiversity and ensure sustainable use while promoting fairness and equity. The treaty was agreed upon today at the 5th Intergovernmental Conference in New York and results from more than a decade of global engagement to solve the crucial global environmental issue of protecting the ocean’s biodiversity outside of national jurisdiction.
This event aims to stimulate open and meaningful conversations about this international agreement and science, especially concerning the future use of marine genetic resources, the development of high-seas marine protected areas (MPAs), environmental impact assessments, capacity building, transfer of marine technology, and the use of best available science.
During this session, Ilka Wagner, Head of the Division Marine Nature Conservation, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), will present Germany’s perspective on the BBNJ Agreement. Her presentation will cover various aspects, such as the ratification process, early entry into force, and the importance of future regulations. It will also touch upon the opportunities and challenges associated with multilateral ocean governance. Dr. Elegbede will focus on the Inclusiveness of Stakeholders as a crucial instrument in the blue economy, especially for the biodiversity of species in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). This inclusiveness is emphasised in the Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of ABNJ (BBNJ). Stakeholder involvement is key to ensuring a holistic and sustainable approach to blue economy activities in these areas. Especially advocating for the role of states, non-state initiatives, and Regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) towards the sustainability of the ocean.
Dr. Elegbede is a Deputy Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy’s Group on Governance, Equity and Rights Thematic Group and a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and presently affiliates as a faculty with the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University, Nigeria. His work focuses on the blue economy and marine and coastal resources, particularly in examining the social and ecological dimensions. Dr. Elegbede has a PhD in Environmental Sciences (Coastal and Ocean Resources Sustainability) from Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU), Germany. Additionally, he is a Coordinator of the Challenger 150 African Network for Deep-water Researchers, founded to develop the capacity and advance deep-water research in Africa. Co-chair of the GEO Blue Planet’s fisheries working group and a fellow of the Future Earth Coast (FEC) of Future Earth.
Ilka Wagner is the Head of the Division Marine Nature Conservation at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) in Germany. Mrs. Wagner is also the National Representative to the Board of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. She has played a leading role in Germany’s negotiating team on BBNJ negotiations.
Dr. Paul Snelgrove is a University Research Professor of Ocean Sciences and Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. From 2008-2021 he led the (NSERC) Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, a national research network that developed new tools and approaches to support sustainable oceans. He currently plays the role of Associate Scientific Director of The Ocean Frontier Institute, which gathers researchers in Atlantic Canada and beyond to advance safe and sustainable ocean objectives. From 2003-2013, Dr. Snelgrove held a Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Cold Ocean Systems, following from an NSERC Industrial Chair in Fisheries Conservation. He led the synthesis of the International Census of Marine Life program, and was a member of the program’s Scientific Steering Committee. His TED Global talk on that program as over 350,000 views. He frequently participates in workshops and conferences around the world as an invited speaker. In 2013, he was awarded the Timothy Parsons Medal for Excellence in Marine Sciences in Canada, and in 2020 was appointed Departmental Science Advisor to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He has published ~150 journal articles, 30 book chapters and 2 books on his research on sustaining marine biodiversity and functioning in all three of Canada’s oceans.
Dr. Brewster is the Director at Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Blue Economy Section, Ministry Environment and National Beautification. He possesses a Ph.D. in Integrated Coastal Zone Management from Cardiff University, Wales, U.K. With over 34 years of experience he is very familiar with the development of management strategies and strategic planning for small Island Integrated Coastal Zone Management as well as rapid assessment techniques for coastal impacts . He was recently a Vice Chair of the IOC – UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (IOC-IOCARIBE) – 2021 – 23.
He has a strong interest in projects related to climate change, sustainable environmental management, impacts on the ocean, ocean science, coastal resilience, coastal adaptation designs and new investment projects of interest to Barbados with a blue economy approach and defined focus. He is currently the Barbados Lead representative on several of the Commonwealth Secretariat Blue Charter Action Groups.
Yekaterina Astafyeva is a Scientific Officer at the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM) in Brussels. Dr. Astafyeva is also a Science-Policy Advisor at the Joint Programming Initiative for Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans), where she coordinates the Joint Action on Blue Carbon and the Knowledge Hub on Ocean Carbon Capacities. She is also involved in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and the Knowledge Hub Science for Good Environmental Status. Dr. Astafyeva has a PhD in Biology (Microbiology & Biotechnology) from the University of Hamburg. Her doctoral research focused on inter- and cross-kingdom synergistic interactions, including microalgae and bacteria liaison. She is a member of the Pool of Experts (PoE) of the third World Ocean Assessment (WOA 3) of the United Nations Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment. Additionally, Dr. Astafyeva serves as a member of an Expert Panel at the German Accreditation Agency ASIIN for the accreditation of degree programmes in Natural Sciences.
We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…
If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.
Networking Friday with Argyro Kavvada (NASA), who reviewed innovative Earth observation solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals. This session was moderated by Samy Djavidnia.
Networking Friday Special Thematic Session on Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices with Jay Pearlman, Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Rachel Przeslawski, Juliet Hermes, and Alison Clausen. this session was moderated by Frank Muller-Karger
Networking Friday Special Session on Sargassum with Cesar Toro (IOCARIBE of IOC-UNESCO), Karima Degia (UWI), Sandra Ketelhake (AtlantOS, KDM), Isabel Sousa Pinto (CIIMAR, GEO MBON), and Leah Mupas Segui (GEO Blue Planet Initiative). The moderator was Emily Smail (NOAA, GEO Blue Planet Initiative).