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SBSTTA 16 Recommendation XVI/6

XVI/6.Marine biodiversity: marine spatial planning and voluntary guidelines for the consideration of biodiversity in environmental impact ssessments and strategic environmental assessments in marine and coastal areas

A.The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice recommends that the Conference of the Parties adopts a decision along the following lines:
The Conference of the Parties,

Voluntary guidelines for the consideration of biodiversity in environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments in marine and coastal areas

Recalling decision VIII/28, by which it endorsed voluntary guidelines on biodiversity-inclusive environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment,
Noting that marine areas, in particular open-ocean and deep-sea areas, have important ecological differences from terrestrial and coastal areas,
[1.Takes note with appreciation of the voluntary guidelines8 for the consideration of biodiversity in environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments in marine and coastal areas, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction, in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention;
2.Requests the Executive Secretary to make these voluntary guidelines available as a reference to Parties, other Governments and United Nations specialized agencies, as well as relevant United Nations General Assembly processes, in particular the United Nations Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, as well as regional seas organizations and regional fisheries management organizations and agreements, with regards to fisheries management, as appropriate;
3.Encourages, as appropriate, Parties, other Governments and competent organizations, in accordance with national and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to use the voluntary guidelines, and to adapt and apply them as considered necessary in accordance with their national priorities;
4.Invites Parties and other Governments to share, as appropriate, information on their progress in the application of these voluntary guidelines, consider including such information in the fifth and subsequent national reports, and provide suggestions for their further refinement;]
5.Invites Parties, other Governments and competent organizations, in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to facilitate further research to fill gaps in knowledge, as highlighted in the voluntary guidelines with regards to marine and coastal areas, in particular in areas beyond national jurisdiction;
6.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to availability of financial resources, to provide further assistance to promote capacity building on the application of the voluntary guidelines, to compile information on experience in the application of the voluntary guidelines and report on the progress to a meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

Marine spatial planning

7.Acknowledges the synthesis document on the experience and use of marine spatial planning (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/18), and takes note of the key messages as set out in section III of document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/7);
8.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to availability of financial resources, to collaborate with Parties, other Governments, United Nations specialized agencies, regional organizations, and other competent organizations, and indigenous and local communities to:
(a)Develop a web-based information-sharing system linking existing information sources9 on marine spatial planning on the web;
(b)Continue to compile information on experience and use of marine spatial planning practices and make the compiled information available to Parties, other Governments and competent organizations to evaluate its usefulness and implications;
(c)Convene an expert workshop to provide consolidated practical guidance and a toolkit for applying marine spatial planning, building upon existing guidance10, subject to availability of financial resources, in order to complement and further enhance the existing cross-sectoral efforts of Parties and other Governments on the application of the ecosystem approach to the implementation of integrated marine and coastal management; the identification of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs); the design and establishment of conservation and management measures including marine protected areas and other area-based management efforts. The expert workshop should:
(i)Review existing guidance and toolkits on marine spatial planning;
(ii)Identify gaps;
(iii)Develop proposals to fill these gaps; and
(iv)If considered necessary, prepare a consolidated practical guidance and toolkit on marine spatial planning;
(d)Make the guidance and toolkits, as referred to above, available to Parties, other Governments and competent organizations;
(e)Disseminate awareness-raising materials on marine spatial planning to decision makers based on the synthesis document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/18) and its key messages as contained in document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/7) with a view to facilitating the application of practical guidance and toolkits as referred to above;
(f)Organize training workshops, subject to availability of financial resources, in close linkage to existing capacity-building efforts on marine protected areas11 and EBSAs12, in order to increase the capacity of Parties, especially developing country Parties, in their application of marine spatial planning as a tool to enhance existing efforts on integrated marine and coastal area management, identification of EBSAs, design and establishment of conservation and management measures including marine protected areas and other area-based management efforts, and other marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable use practices.
B.The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice requests Executive Secretary to refine the voluntary guidelines for the consideration of biodiversity in environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments in marine and coastal areas in light of views submitted by Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations by 30 June 2012.
8 The voluntary guidelines will be further refined based on the document (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/7/Add.1) with the addition of the following phrase in the chapeau: "These voluntary guidelines should be used in a manner consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea", and taking into account additional submissions from Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations, in accordance with the request to the Executive Secretary in part B of this recommendation.
9 For example, the IOC/UNESCO webpage on marine spatial planning, (http://www.unesco-ioc-marinesp.be/marine_spatial_planning_msp).
10 For example, the IOC/UNESCO guidelines on marine spatial planning.
11 For example, the UNDOALOS training manual on marine protected areas.
12 For example, EBSA training manuals and modules prepared by the Executive Secretary.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme