Marine Protected Areas

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 22 November 2023.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Conservative, Bournemouth East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the development of proposals to establish new high seas marine protected areas under the Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement.

Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development and Africa)

The UK was pleased to be among the first signatories to the Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement when it opened for signature at the UN on 20 September 2023 and the Agreement was laid before Parliament for scrutiny on 16 October 2023. Work is in hand on the legislation and other measures needed to translate the provisions of the Agreement into UK law before we can ratify the Agreement. The UK will continue to be proactive in preparing for implementation and entry into force and will work with international partners and stakeholders to identify potential areas for High Seas Marine Protected Areas. The UK is also funding a project to develop a shortlist of potential area-based management tools that could be developed into future proposals once the BBNJ Agreement comes into force.

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