The Ocean and Us: What a new global treaty means to the people of the Caribbean

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The United Nations are in the midst of negotiating an international legally binding instrument under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement). The Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Co-Chairs for the negotiations, Barbados and Belize, recognising that enhanced regional stakeholder engagement would be necessary to support the negotiations, secured technical funding for extensive consultation in that regard. Undertaken by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), dialogues with stakeholders explored how this global treaty is relevant to their rights, responsibilities and interests. Moreover, hearing stakeholder perspectives and priorities help our negotiators to be better placed to make a convincing case for improved action to protect ocean biodiversity and benefit Caribbean people. The results of this extensive engagement has been distilled into an excellent interactive story map produced by CANARI that AOSIS is proud to endorse. This goes beyond the Caribbean. This is a great resource for all SIDS, and is a model of the type of stakeholder engagement that needs to be replicated in all SIDS regions on this critical issue.