The Sargasso Sea Commission was established in August 2014 by the Government of Bermuda pursuant to the 2014 Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea. It builds upon the success of four years of work, led by the Government of Bermuda to engage governments, international organizations and other partners to better protect the unique high seas ecosystem of the Sargasso Sea using existing international legal frameworks.
The goal of the Commission is to develop a new paradigm for the conservation of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). The Sargasso Sea Commission has no formal management mandate but with the help of the six governments that have signed the Hamilton Declaration (Azores, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Monaco, UK and the US) as well as others that support its goals, it will “exercise a stewardship role for the Sargasso Sea and keep its health, productivity and resilience under continual review” and implement a work programme for the conservation of the Sargasso Sea.
IUCN and the Commission
IUCN was a founding member of the international commission for the conservation of the Sargasso Sea. It retains a major role as a formal Collaborating Partner with the Sargasso Sea Commission and plays a key role in the implementation of the 2014 Hamilton Declaration.
IUCN houses the Secretariat of the Sargasso Sea Commission in its office in Washington DC. Office: Dr David Freestone, the Executive Secretary and Faith Bulger Programme Officer are employed by IUCN. Kristina Gjerde, IUCN Senior High Seas Advisor and Professor Dan Laffoley, marine Vice Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas serve on the board of the Sargasso Sea Project.