The meeting adopted the proposal for the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area and established the world’s largest marine protected area. The MPA covers 1.55 million square kilometers with 1.12 million square kilometers of no-take area. In addition, the EU presented the Weddell Sea MPA proposal.
Facilitated by the China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue and the China-US presidential summit, China agreed to the revised proposal for the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area.
The proposal for the East Antarctic Protected Area has been cut down in size multiple times and still pended for decision.
At the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Working Group reached a consensus on the decision to develop a new International Legally Binding Instrument (ILBI) regarding BBNJ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and started a negotiation process. The four preparatory committee meetings was planned to be held in 2016-2017 as a preliminary preparation for formal negotiations.
The proposal for two large marine protected areas of the Ross Sea and the East Antarctic formally entered the agenda of the Committee. However, due to opposition from China and Russia for procedural reasons, no substantive discussions were made at the formal meeting of the committee.
Countries are committed to accelerating the work of the BBNJ Ad Hoc Working Group, and will respond to the issue of the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ before the end of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, including decisions on whether to develop an international treaty under the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The meeting adopted a series of recommendations on the process to initiate the legal framework for the protection and sustainable use of BBNJ by consensus. These recommendations include a series of issues to be discussed as a whole in this process, including: marine genetic resources, environmental impact assessments, zone management tools and skill building and marine technology transfer – for “2011 Package of ideas”.