Report of the Expert Meeting on Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures in the Marine Capture Fishery Sector. Rome, Italy, 7-10 May 2019

Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in 2010, aims to improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity through area-based conservation. The Parties to the CBD are now promoting a valuable opportunity to acknowledge the role of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) in biodiversity conservation beyond protected areas, and to work  towards the common goals of biodiversity conservation and sustainable fisheries management. This includes specific approaches in area-based fisheries management that have tangible benefits for biodiversity conservation. A main value of OECMs is that they are an opportunity for many sectors, whose first priority is not biodiversity conservation to facilitate and recognize efforts to further mainstream biodiversity conservation in delivery of their policies and actions. There is an expectation that the establishment and management of OECMs within these sectors, can offer flexibility in more rapidly establishing and implementing spatial measures in areas where biodiversity conservation is a recognized co-benefit. Following the CBD COP 14, where the CBD Parties adopted a definition of OECMs as well as criteria and guidance for their identification (Decision 14/8). FAO, the Fisheries Expert Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, and the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD), in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers, organized an expert meeting from 7–10 May 2019 at FAO Headquarters to begin the process of supporting the fishery sector to engage in identifying OECMs in support of Aichi Target 11. The purpose of the expert meeting was to compile a broad range of expert advice on the identification and establishment of OECMs in the marine capture fishery sector, on the basis of CBD COP Decision 14/8. Participants came from a range of organizational contexts. This brought extensive knowledge to the meeting with regards to issues related to OECMs and the potential contribution of various spatial measures to the conservation of biodiversity. The expert meeting considered a range of topics, as follows: (1) the rationale for producing guidance for OECMs in the marine capture fishery sector; (2) definition of an OECM; (3) guiding principles and common characteristics; (4) criteria for identification and evaluation; (5) key concepts and cross-cutting issues in a fisheries context; (6) evaluating areas for inclusion in OECM reporting and management; (7) monitoring, evaluation and reporting; (8) re-evaluation of the OECM; and (9) selected governance issues. Discussions were largely viewed from the context of what needed to be considered in the identification and management of OECMs, on the basis of the OECM definition, criteria and guidance in CBD COP Decision 14/8. Discussions in the meeting benefited from and a broad range of discussion of the group as a whole, and points on which views generally converge or else needed further information and dialogue. The implementation of OECMs is clearly context specific and the advice emerging from this meeting and informed by the full range of perspectives offered by meeting participants can help support that implementation. FAO will take the lessons learned from discussions at this meeting and consult with additional stakeholders to advance its aim of providing consolidated guidance to the marine capture fishery sector on the operationalizing of the OECM definition and criteria outlined by the CBD COP.

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FAO (2019). Report of the Expert Meeting on Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures in the Marine Capture Fishery Sector. Rome, Italy, 7-10 May 2019. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. (1301). 76p..

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