2020 Elsevier Ltd Capacity building and technology transfer (CBTT) are vital for the success of a new international legally-binding agreement for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Without effective CBTT, many developing countries are unlikely to be able to fulfill their obligations in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), including by undertaking area-based management, evaluating environmental impact assessments, and benefiting from the utilization of marine genetic resources - or to realize their rights. Meanwhile, several other international commitments require varying forms of CBTT at global, regional and national levels. This article analyses areas where synergies are possible for implementing CBTT, and those where additional, ABNJ-related capacities will need to be mainstreamed for holistic ocean management. We argue that CBTT is more meaningful, effective and resource-efficient if it corresponds to the ecological realities of an interconnected ocean by linking initiatives relating to ABNJ with those within national jurisdiction. We discuss why and how CBTT is also more useful on the national level if it maximizes synergies between international policies and agreements, and allows countries to concurrently participate in a BBNJ agreement and fulfill national priorities related to sustainable development, for example by enhancing livelihoods, eradicating hunger and poverty, and building capacity for science and innovation as part of national blue economies based on healthy ocean ecosystems. The Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development offers a timely opportunity to operationalize robust CBTT measures under the BBNJ agreement and maximize synergies with other international commitments - as part of broader efforts to achieve Agenda 2030.
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