Industry Leadership in Governance and Sustainable Use of the High Seas


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The high seas are subject to increasing use by a range of private sector interests that impact biodiversity and marine ecosystems. Environmental governance of the high seas is complex due to the fluid, interconnected nature of the ecosystems and their biodiversity, making management of areas and resources beyond national jurisdiction difficult. Although UNCLOS and other institutional frameworks provide for governance, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to govern the high seas without the constructive involvement of those to be governed. As the private sector is a primary user of ocean areas and resources, it is well placed to

develop and deliver solutions. Some companies that are trying to be responsible ocean users, but the efforts of a few company or even a whole industry sector will not be enough to address global, cumulative impacts on the marine environment at the scope and scale needed. Leadership and collaboration in “Corporate Ocean Responsibility” from the multi-sectoral “ocean business community” is needed through a structure and process for companies to work on complex, intertwined, international environmental issues of the high seas.