During August 26th till September 9th, the second session of the Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) predatory committee was held at the UN headquarters in New York. Professor Qin Tianbao attended this meeting as the legal consultant of Chinese delegation, at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Oceanic Administration. Professor Qin is the director of the Institute of Environmental Law Research in Wuhan University and a member of the Collaborative Innovation Center for Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights.
The work of the preparatory committee concerning the reestablishment of future international marine systems has drawn high attention from governments and relevant international organizations. This meeting attracted approximately 300 people from more than 100 countries and 20 inter-governmental organizations. The Chinese government sent out a delegation led by Ma Xinmin, the deputy director of the Department of Treaty and Law, with members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Oceanic Administration, the China Ocean Mineral Resources Association, the Third Institute of Oceanography, Wuhan University and some other institutes.
As the legal expert in the delegation, Professor Qin attended this meeting and actively engaged in the negotiations on such issues as marine genetic resources, environmental impacts and marine conservation areas. His cooperation, and on-time yet accurate legal advice during this meeting was highly appreciated by other delegation members.
Qin Tianbao takes a leading domestic position and enjoys a big international influence with his long-time research on the laws and policies related to biological diversity. His consulting reports and advisory opinions submitted to the relevant administrations and commissions provide theoretical support for national legislation and international negotiations, which provide good social benefits. This is another important negotiation about international environment conventions that Qin attended after the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) Conference of the parties in 2014. Scholars’ active involvement in international negotiations mark the important progress and achievements of the governmental service and think-tank construction by the Institute of Environmental Law Research in Wuhan University and the Collaborative Innovation Center for Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights. It can earn the research institute higher academic reputation and international influence.
It is reported that on June 19th 2015, the UN General Assembly came to a resolution, highlighting that a comprehensive global system should be adopted to better promote the maintenance and sustainable utilization of marine biodiversity outside the areas of national jurisdiction. A set of binding international legal documents are supposed to be drafted according to UNCLOS. The General Assembly decided to establish a preparatory committee to reach an agreement through negotiation before the inter-governmental meetings. This committee got started in 2016 and will report its work and achievements by the end of 2017.