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Welcome to the ABNJ Team Workspace

This space is intended for team members of the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Program to provide updates, access materials, post comments, and share related news.

The ABNJ program – referred to as Common Oceans - is a broad scale, innovative approach to achieve efficiency and sustainability in production and biodiversity conservation in the high seas. These are areas which don’t fall under the jurisdiction of any one country, and cover 64 per cent of the surface of the oceans, make up 40 per cent of the earth’s surface, with marine living resources valued at well over U.S. $10 billion annually.

Often considered the world’s last global commons, the complex ecosystems in the ABNJ include the water column and seabed of the high seas and are mostly far from coasts, making the sustainable management of the fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in those areas extremely difficult and challenging.  

The Program aims to promote efficient and sustainable management of fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation and mitigate problems that have led to the near collapse of some species of tuna and which are significant threats to marine ecosystem health and services.

The Program comprises four specific projects:

  • Project 1 - Sustainable management of tuna fisheries
  • Project 2 - Sustainable use of deep-sea living resources
  • Project 3 - Ocean Partnerships
  • Project 4 - Strengthening global capacity to effectively manage ABNJ


With a view to improving ABNJ management, the program has been approved for funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with three GEF agencies - the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It is a collective partnership, bringing together governments, regional fisheries management bodies, the private sector. and non-governmental organizations. From fishers to consumers, the program aims to ensure the food security and livelihoods of these millions of people who rely on the long-term management and sustainability of high-sea fisheries.

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