Marine spatial planning in areas beyond national jurisdiction


Pressure on marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) has increased significantly in recent decades, yet the current international legal framework does not provide for holistic and cross-sectoral area-based management. Negotiations for a new international legally binding instrument will consider how to fill this gap. Marine spatial planning (MSP) is one tool that could contribute to conservation and sustainable use. Provisions for MSP, including obligations, support for coordination and cooperation, and a strong legal basis, should therefore be part of a new agreement. This brief proposes some avenues for the inclusion of MSP in a new agreement, including general provisions, institutional implications, and possible models for an international MSP process.