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COVID-19 effects on marine biodiversity negotiations: A new pathway for digital diplomacy?

Environmental Policy
International Relations
UN
Internet
Survey Research
Arne Langlet
University of Vienna
Emmanuelle Brogat
University of Vienna EIF
Arne Langlet
University of Vienna
Silvia Carolina Ruiz Rodríguez
University of Vienna
Ina Tessnow-von Wysocki
University of Vienna
Petro Tolochko
University of Vienna
Alice Vadrot
University of Vienna

Abstract

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures, negotiations for a new international legally binding instrument under the 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) have been indefinitely postponed. As a result, a number of online initiatives emerged to keep up the dialogue and allow for exchanges between and among state and non-state actors . A survey conducted in May 2020 explores the COVID-19 effect on the participants’ work and communication patterns during the global lockdown. This paper identifies priority online initiatives and communication channels to maintain momentum in the negotiations of the ocean treaty and discusses the challenges and opportunities of digital diplomacy for multilateral environmental agreement making.