Ecosystem approach

A Methodology for Evaluating the Ecosystem Approach in National Laws and Policies

By: Lena Schøning

PDF: Lena-A-methodology-to-evaluate-the-ecosystem-approach-in-national-laws-and-policies_NCLOS-blog_Final.pdf

Matter commented on: A theoretical perspective, criteria, and methods for evaluating the ecosystem approach in national laws and policies.

1          Introduction

The ecosystem approach has been part of international environmental law since the 90s. Since then, the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity has called upon nation states to implement the approach locally, nationally, and regionally. How has the ecosystem approach been implemented nationally? This blog post suggests and sketches a theoretical perspective, criteria, and methods for evaluating the ecosystem approach in national laws and policies concerning activities. Developing and instigating a discussion on methods for such evaluation could lead to more and improved evaluations, which could further lead to improved uses of the ecosystem approach in laws and policies. The criteria could further be used to operationalize the ecosystem approach.

Biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) Ecosystem approach

Operationalizing the Ecosystem Approach in the BBNJ Treaty

By: Vito De Lucia

PDF: Vito de Lucia_181022_NCLOS Blog.pdf

Matter commented on: 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference towards a new treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, Further Refreshed Draft Text, A/CONF.232/2022/CRP.13/Add.1

1         Introduction: IGC5 and the “Further Refreshed Draft Text”

After the long COVID hiatus and the digital intersessional discussions, the BBNJ negotiations re-started in earnest in 2022 with two sessions of the intergovernmental conference (IGC): the fourth and last of the sessions stipulated in the UNGA resolution (A/RES/72/249) that launched the IGC was held in March 2022; and an additional fifth session, inevitable given the state of the negotiations at the end of IGC4 was held in August 2022 (IGC5). While IGC5 was not conclusive, much progress was made on many of the key issues, and a series of revisions of the negotiating text were produced by the Presidency during IGC5 (so called “refreshed” texts), in order to streamline the negotiations. At the end of an intense negotiating session, and amidst renewed commitments to finalize the BBNJ treaty, IGC5 was suspended without a consensus on a text, but with the view of resuming the same fifth session as soon as possible in 2023 (rather than providing for a sixth session of the IGC). This clearly gives the sense of optimism about concluding the negotiations at the resumed session of IGC5, despite disappointment of the parts of many delegations, which gave rise to emotional closing statements, especially on the part of Pacific and Small Island State delegations, for the missed opportunity to close the deal in August, as reported by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB, p. 10). However, this new pause gives room for some last-minute reflections.

In this blog post, I shall take the opportunity to articulate some concrete suggestions for a meaningful integration of the ecosystem approach (EA) in the BBNJ treaty, by linking its role as one of the overarching principles with the role that strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) may play in its operationalization. The analysis proceeds on the basis of the provisions and formulations contained in the latest draft circulated during IGC5, the further refreshed draft text (A/CONF.232/2022/CRP.13/Add.1). It is important to note, however, that the further refreshed draft text does not necessarily represent consensus, as adamantly expressed by China (ENB, p.9) at IGC5, which stressed that “in the drafting of this document, all views should have been treated equally and the document should have reflected all issues” (ENB, p.9), emphasizing at the same time how the BBNJ negotiations is a state-led process. It is also unclear at this point whether this further refreshed draft text will be the basis for further negotiations at the resumed session of IGC5.

Arctic Ecosystem approach

Launch of a New Research Project at NCLOS: Developing Good Ocean Governance of the Arctic in Times of Unpredictable and Rapid Changes (DOGA)

By: Ingvild Ulrikke Jakobsen, Hilde Woker, Iva Parlov

PDF version: Launch of a New Research Project at NCLOS_010721_NCLOS_Blog

Matter commented on: developing good ocean governance of the Arctic


The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS) is excited to announce the launch of a new research project: Developing Good Ocean Governance of the Arctic in Times of Unpredictable and Rapid Changes (DOGA), funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The DOGA project is led by Professor Ingvild Ulrikke Jakobsen and assembles a group of researchers from NCLOS, the Norwegian College of Fishery Science, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Russia, and Dalhousie University in Halifax in Canada. The aim of the project is to contribute to good ocean governance of the marine Arctic by critically investigating the implementation of the ecosystem approach in Norway, within a regional context.