Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

International conference on common oceans at world’s first high seas aquarium

24 July 2018

Looking to boost the general public’s understanding of the high seas, international experts gathered at the Nausicaa Aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France last month to discuss the rich and complex issues related to our common oceans – the areas beyond national jurisdication.  

Taking place against the backdrop of the world’s first high-seas aquarium, and just as the first UN session to negotiate an agreement on ABNJ gets underway in September, participants emphasized that the sustainable management and use of the common oceans is essential to our longterm future well-being. Over 85 scientists, decision-makers, community and business leaders showcased the major issues, unique management and policy challenges, threats and opportunities, and the current state of knowledge facing these valuable ocean areas to media and the general public.

Recognizing the important role of the media in building public awareness and engagement, the two-day event included a special media workshop and forum with international journalists, offering a unique dialogue with experts. Setting the scene was French actor, director and activist Lambert Wilson and a moving testimonial from James Honeyborne, Executive Producer of BBC award-wining Blue Planet II series – each highlighting that we must all be responsible ocean stewards.

The conference was co-organized by, the Common Oceans ABNJ Capacity Project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Ocean Forum, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Ocean Network, Agence Française pour la Biodiversite (AFB) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As one of multiple initiatives that are helping promote the sustainable use and management of the high seas, the Common Oceans Program is a broad-scale, innovative approach to achieve efficient and sustainable management of fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in marine areas that do not fall under the responsibility of any one country.

Summary of the event is available here

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Common Oceans Capacity Project Manager and President of the Global Ocean Forum 
  • Tina Farmer, Lead Technical Officer of the Common Oceans Capacity Project