Submarine Cables and marine Biological Diversity of areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) was the topic of discussion on Monday, 29 August 2016 during a well-attended side event held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York. The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) presented on the organization’s role within the ocean community and highlighted its newly published and informative white paper on the subject of submarine cables and BBNJ.

The successful side event was part of the 2nd Session of the Preparatory Committee established by General Assembly resolution 69/292: Development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. ICPC was represented by its Chairman: Graham Evans, Vice Chairman: Nigel Irvine, ICPC’s International Cable Law Advisor: Douglas Burnett, Robert Wargo from AT&T and James Herron from TE SubCom. ICPC is grateful to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the EastWest Institute for co-hosting the event with the ICPC.

West Institute for co-hosting the event with the ICPC.

With about 45 diplomats and NGO’s in attendance, ICPC’s expert panel discussed submarine cables in relation to: the environment, cable owners, route surveyors and ship operators as well as governance of the oceans. A senior European diplomat, who attended all of the side events at the first PrepCom, was subsequently reported as saying the ICPC side event was the best so far because it, as well as the white paper, provided substantive evidence in a real factual context and not general theory for the diplomats to consider. The ICPC also supplied samples of deep water submarine cables {typically 14-22 millimeters in diameter} and answered insightful questions from attendees after its presentation.

The presenters at the workshop demonstrated how cables are environmentally neutral to benign in BBNJ area.

Interested parties are welcome to download ICPC’s white paper and full presentation.

About ICPC

The International Cable Protection Committee was formed in 1958 and its primary goal is to promote the safeguarding of international submarine cables against man-made and natural hazards. The organization provides a forum for the exchange of technical, legal and environmental information about submarine cables and, with more than 150 members from over 60 nations, including cable operators, owners, manufacturers, industry service providers, as well as governments, it is the World’s premier submarine cable organization.