Additional Publication Information
The increasing intensity and impacts of human activities in the global oceans pose significant threats to the extensive repository of marine species, habitats and ecosystems in the vast marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). This article examines the scope of these threats and the role of areas based management mechanisms such as marine protected areas (MPAs) in addressing those threats. It discusses the law and policy rationale for establishing MPAs in ABNJ and some regional examples of MPA designation in the North East Atlantic, the Mediterranean, Antarctica and the Sargasso Sea. Finally it reviews global initiatives in the United Nations to develop a more integrated and cross sectoral framework for conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ including the designation of a representative network of MPAs in these largely neglected areas of the ocean.