Publication Details

H. Harden-Davies, 'Marine science and technology transfer: can the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission advance governance of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction?' (2016) 74 Marine Policy 260-267.


Marine scientific research is crucial to forge solutions in the development of a new international legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The transfer of marine technology, capacity development and marine genetic resources are key issues. This paper examines how the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), as a competent international organisation for marine scientific research and technology transfer, can inform the development of the instrument. Synergies between marine technology transfer and non-monetary benefit sharing of genetic resources are illustrated. Four key lessons from the IOC are examined: 1. Coordinating international cooperation in marine scientific research; 2. Enabling open access to data and knowledge; 3. Facilitating capacity development through scientific training and education; and 4. Governance of marine scientific research. Realising the potential of the IOC to advance governance solutions for ABNJ will depend on increased political will from Member States and strengthened partnerships to reduce resource constraints and enhance the IOC's capacity at global and regional scales.



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