The Oceans Treaty as a win for multilateralism: what lies ahead

Hosted by LSE Law School

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building)


Dr Siva Thambisetty

Dr Siva Thambisetty

Dr Robert Blasiak

Dr Robert Blasiak


Lowri Mai Griffiths

Lowri Mai Griffiths


Philippe Carvalho Raposo

Philippe Carvalho Raposo


Dr Michael I Kanu

Dr Michael I Kanu


Professor David Kershaw

Professor David Kershaw

On March 5th 2023, state parties at the United Nations agreed the text of a new Treaty to cover biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, in areas also known as the high seas. The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Treaty sets out governance mechanisms for oceans over nearly half the planet’s surface covering marine genetic resources, environmental impact assessments, capacity building and technology transfer and Area Based Management Tools. It has the potential to transform the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity on the oceans beyond national jurisdiction and bring about greater sharing of the wealth of the oceans.

In this talk and panel discussion speakers address what was achieved in these negotiations, how the Treaty speaks to global justice, equity, and climate change and what happens next in terms of ratification and entry into force of the Treaty.

Meet our speakers and chair

Siva Thambisetty (@SivaThambisetty) is an Associate Professor of Law at the Law School at LSE. Her research covers intellectual property law and emerging technologies and the use and circulation of genetic resources. She acted as Advisor to the Chair of the G77 and China Group during the Treaty negotiations in 2022 and 2023, and to the Pacific Small Island Developing States in 2019. Siva currently leads a KEI funded project on the BBNJ Treaty called the Ocean Biodiversity Collective.

Robert Blasiak (@BlasiakRobert) is Associate Professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, University of Stockholm where he currently leads projects on the equitable use of marine genetic resources, exploring the potential of science-industry collaboration for sustainable fisheries management, and understanding the financial risks of climate impacts on fisheries. He is a member of the scientific and expert committee of the Ocean Climate Platform, a coordinating lead author of the World Ocean Assessment, and co-leads the Human Ocean research theme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Lowri Mai Griffiths is Head of the Maritime Policy Unit at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which covers all aspects of the implementation and interpretation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as other marine and maritime issues. Lowri was the Head of the UK delegation to the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference. She is also a member of the UK delegation to the International Seabed Authority.

Philippe Carvalho Raposo is a Brazilian diplomat based at the Brazilian Embassy in Berlin (from Sept 2023). Philippe was a member of the Brazilian delegation the BBNJ agreement negotiations between 2021 and 2023, coordinating the Core Latin American Countries (CLAM) in the negotiations of marine genetic resources and sharing of benefits. He also coordinated Brazil’s official position of support for the precautionary pause of deep-sea mining activities within the scope of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), in Kingston, Jamaica (July 2023).

Michael I Kanu is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York; Member of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority (2023-2027), and Chair of the African Group during BBNJ Treaty negotiations. Dr Kanu is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the LSE Law School.

David Kershaw is Dean of the Law School at LSE.

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Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEBBNJ

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