High Seas

POLICY BRIEF: Adjacency: How legal precedent, ecological connectivity, and Traditional Knowledge inform our understanding of proximity

Pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), all States have customary and treaty obligations to protect and preserve the marine environment and its resources. Several countries have expressed an interest in the question of whether States could properly assert priority over the conservation of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) adjacent to their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). The term “adjacency”, with respect to maritime coastal boundaries, refers to a State’s spatial proximity with the open ocean and deep sea in ABNJ.