Third Session of the Intergovernmental Conference

Third Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on an International legally Binding instrument (ILBI) under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of Marine Biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)

From 19th-30th August 2019, Seychelles participated in the negotiations of the third IGC-BBNJ session held at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The country was represented by PS Alain Decomarmond, DG BCM Marie-May Muzungaile (Environment Department), Senior Legal Officer Ms. Estelle Lucas (Blue Economy Department) from Capital along with officials from the Seychelles UN Mission based in New York. For the first time at this session delegated started text based negotiations on the draft treaty text. Particularly important for SIDS like Seychelles the issue of benefit sharing and technology transfer, establishing clear procedures for Environmental Impact Assessment in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction. Also together with Mauritius Seychelles is fighting for recognition of adjacent states as key players in the ABNJ particularly as it relates to our extended continental shelf and the Joint Management Area. There is expected to be fourth session of negotiations that Seychelles will have to be part of in Spring of 2020 (March 2020. If all goes to plan it is expected that BBNJ Treaty will be ready for signature late 2020, but there is possibility that a fifth session will have to be added or at least a certain level of intersessional work in order to complete some of the elements.