University of Aberdeen


Sharing the benefits of the Ocean

The seas beyond national jurisdiction contain a wealth of biodiversity – some of which could be key to unlocking new medicines and advances in technology. The international community are negotiating a new legal agreement under the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea to regulate marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

University of Aberdeen colleagues from Chemistry and from Law brought their expertise to this international forum. Sustainability is central to the BBNJ, with conservation, inclusivity and benefit sharing key to the process.

The interdisciplinary team recognised that intellectual property (IP) considerations are important, to avoid blocks in delivering benefit sharing through excessive private control. The team have embedded IP considerations into BBNJ negotiations and have provided workable mechanisms for dealing with IP within the agreement.

The team raised awareness of the matter through multi-stakeholder workshops, public discussions, podcasts, explainer videos and a global production - Song of the Ocean.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Our very different disciplines came together to tackle a global challenge.
  2. By talking to stakeholders, we saw a knowledge gap that our expertise could help with.
  3. The public want to be involved in these discussions and it’s important we foster that.
14 - Life Below Water 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
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