A lecture entitled “Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) & regional ocean governance, with emphasis on the West Indian Ocean” was given by two IRD researchers from UMR Marbec, Florence Galletti (International Law of the Sea/Law of the Marine Environments) and Francis Marsac (Oceanography and Ecology), on 9 September 2021. This intervention was part of a course on ocean governance, organized by the International Ocean Institute-African Region (IOI-SA) from 30 August to 24 September 2021. Due to the health crisis, this lecture was delivered online.
Through a network of centers, the IOI organizes training and capacity building sessions. The Training Center for Africa (IOI-SA) is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and addresses governance issues specific to African states. The first IOI-SA course was held in 2013, and has been held annually since 2015.
The course taught by F. Galletti and F. Marsac, members of the DiDEM project, was structured into 4 components:
1. Spatial approach in ocean governance with the definition of the different maritime zones and the jurisdiction of States over them;
2. The particular case of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), i.e. the high seas beyond 200 miles and the situation resulting from the extension (in the legal sense) of continental shelves. In this area, two governance sectors were used illustrate the subject, namely; regional fisheries organizations (IOTC and APSOI in the Indian Ocean) and mineral exploration (managed by the ISA)
3. Recent legal and scientific developments on the remote marine heritage located on the high seas (ABNJ). The issue of connectivity was addressed and illustrated by an example of larval dispersal modelling. These approaches make it possible to propose, on a scientific basis, spatialized management/conservation scenarios for marine biodiversity;
4. An overview of the ongoing negotiations within the UN framework for a binding international agreement to regulate access, use and conservation of marine biodiversity (ILBI) beyond areas under national jurisdiction.
Candidates wishing to participate in this course were pre-selected by the IOI. There were 21 participants from 9 countries: countries of the East African coast (Somalia to South Africa) and the island countries of the Western Indian Ocean. The profile of the participants covered a wide spectrum of skills and interests: lawyers, fisheries biologists and managers, environmental managers, navy personnel etc.