The Mandate of the Global Ocean Commission

For this issue, I’d like to share the mandate of the Global Ocean Commission.

The objective of the Commission is to formulate politically and technically feasible short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to address four key issues facing the high seas:

  • overfishing
  • large-scale loss of habitat and biodiversity
  • the lack of effective management and enforcement
  • deficiencies in high seas governance.

The Commission’s work will focus on four key tasks:

  1. Examine key threats, challenges, and changes to the ocean in the 21st century, and identify priority issues. The Commission will begin by analysing threats to the global ocean, based on the latest and most rigorous evidence from science and economics. It will map out the implications of a business-as-usual approach. In this phase of its work, it will draw on the abundance of existing reports from world experts, but will also begin original research in partnership with other organisations.
  2. Review the effectiveness of the existing legal framework for the high seas in meeting the unique challenges and threats of the 21st century and beyond. In the context of high seas fisheries, this means a special focus on the effectiveness of RFMOs, particularly with respect to their accountability, transparency, and performance. It also means analysing the governance gap on biodiversity conservation, options for combatting IUU fishing, and the suitability of the existing legal regime for regulating emerging uses of the global ocean.

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