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Marine Protected Areas in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

AbstractMarine protected areas (MPAs) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) are embedded in a number of multilateral frameworks. The present report discusses how various global and regional conventions deal with MPAs in their regulatory frameworks, such as their processes and guidelines for the identification and designation of MPAs in ABNJ, and cross-sectoral issues. It is concluded that the designation of MPAs is one step, but it needs to be followed by effective management measures in order to prevent that MPAs, especially multi-purpose MPAs, only exist on paper for many years. Such measures are mostly sector-specific and thus often fall under the competences of various organizations that have their own individual criteria and balance of interests. The report concludes by providing recommendations to overcome obstacles in cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination, as well as on how to combine global and regional interaction.

Affiliations: 1: Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS), School of Law, Utrecht University Utrecht The Netherlands, URL:


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