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Regional Management of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction in the Western Indian Ocean: State of Play and Possible Ways Forward

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In recent years, the international community has become increasingly aware of the growing threats to marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), and international discussions on a new international legally binding are underway. In parallel, some States, through regional organisations, have progressively extended their activities into ABNJ, particularly through the development of area-based management tools (ABMTs). In this article, we consider how actors in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) might engage in ABNJ governance. In particular, we develop some possible scenarios for developing ABMTs in the WIO, including through the development of fisheries closures, the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs), and the adoption of ABMTs under the auspices of relevant international organisations. We conclude that while the WIO is currently not the most advanced region in terms of ongoing efforts to improve the governance of ABNJ, there are already some positive signals and promising options for the future.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Sciences Po Paris Cedex 07France ; 2: Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Sciences Po Paris Cedex 07France


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