Marine offshore. The following main human activities may

Marine biodiversity is affected
by human activities on land, in the coastal zone

and further offshore. The
following main human activities may or do occur in

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(marine) areas beyond national
jurisdiction (ABNJ; a term that is clarified further

below): marine capture fisheries,
navigation, marine scientific research,2

bioprospecting, 3 laying
submarine cables and pipelines, constructing artificial

islands and other installations,
ocean dumping, exploration and exploitation of

non-living resources, and overflight.4
But human activities on land and in the

coastal zone affect marine biodiversity in ABNJ as


With regard to marine scientific
research and hydrographic research, reference

can be made to the
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

and the International
Hydrographic Organization (IHO), respectively, even though

these do not have regulatory roles.i


Existing and New Rights to Conserve
Marine Biodiversity


Reforms of international law are
above all a matter of striking an acceptable

balance between opposing needs
and interests that exist at a given time in the

international community. A number
of acceptable balances must be struck to

successfully reform the
international legal framework relating to the conservation

and sustainable use of marine
biodiversity in ABNJ. At a high level,

reform is guided by the universal
but flexible goal of sustainable development

and thereby pursues an equitable
balance between socio-economic interests

and the interests in marine
biodiversity by present and future generations. As

reform should minimize
competition or overlap with existing legal regimes,

this balance includes an
equitable balance between new and existing legal

regimes at the global and regional level.


Cf. Arts. 2
and 3 of the IOC Statutes (revised in November 1999; available at

and Art. 2 of the Convention on
the International Hydrographic Organization (Monaco,

3 May 1967. In force 22 September
1970; ).