Rena Lee, the head of the UN International Conference on Marine Biological Diversity of Regions Outside State Jurisdiction, made the announcement that the Treaty’s core challenges had been settled late Saturday night in New York.
Governments have reached agreements on critical issues that will advance the protection and better management of marine biodiversity in the high seas, according to Director of the High Seas Alliance Rebecca Hubbard in a press release from the High Seas Alliance. This follows a two-week-long rollercoaster ride of negotiations and super-hero efforts.
The Treaty would smooth the way for the construction of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas and give criteria for analyzing how human activities impact the ecosystem, a news release from the Pew Charitable Trusts said.
To guarantee that the agreement is upheld, the High Seas Alliance is requesting that the UN complete the formalities of adopting the Treaty as quickly as feasible.
According to Liz Karan, project director for the Pew Charitable Trusts Safeguarding Ocean Life on the High Seas, high seas marine protected zones can be extremely important in mitigating the effects of climate change.
To protect the biodiversity of the high seas, governments, and civil society must now make sure the agreement is ratified, quickly enters into force, and is properly implemented.
Deep-water coral reefs and other amazing ecosystems can be found on the high seas. They are also used by whales, sharks, and other animals as migration pathways.
For the global campaign known as 30 by 30 to achieve its goal of protecting at least 30% of marine and terrestrial habitats by 2030, a network of MPAs on the high seas is essential.
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity Parties approved 30 by 30 last December as a component of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
This deal will bring a similar goal to the high seas, following the 1997 Montreal Accord, which lays out a worldwide framework for biodiversity protection.
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According to the Vice President of Conservation and Programs at Oceans North Susanna Fuller, Canada has a disproportionate responsibility to ensure that the Treaty is adequately implemented once it is legally signed because the waters of Canada are bordered by three international ocean basins.
Just slightly more than 1% of the high seas are already protected, but the new Treaty will offer a framework for creating MPAs as well as the legal foundation for achieving the 30 by 30 goal. According to scientists, the planet’s oceans must be protected to a minimum of 30 percent by 2030 in order for them to remain healthy.
According to a news statement from the High Seas Alliance, the Treaty will make it simpler to govern ship operations, fishing, and other activities that have historically harmed ocean health on the high seas.
The oceans are the world’s largest environment and are home to millions of species.
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Reaching a Treaty has been a rather protracted process. According to Hubbard in a press statement from the High Seas Alliance, we will be looking to the 52 states that make up the High Ambition Coalition to take the initiative in adopting, ratifying, and designating significant High Seas areas to safeguard.
How best for states to share marine genetic resources (MGR) and the revenues that would eventually flow from them was one of the biggest sticking issues in Treaty negotiations, according to The Guardian. MGR, which has the potential to be employed in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are the genetic components of deep-sea animals like krill, seaweed, coral, marine sponges, and bacteria.
The High Seas Treaty paves the way for humanity to finally offer marine life protection throughout our single ocean. According to Minna Epps, director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Global Marine and Polar Programme, in a press release from the High Seas Alliance,
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The adoption of it closes crucial gaps in international law and provides a framework for governments to collaborate in order to protect the health of the world’s oceans, climate resilience, and the socioeconomic well-being and food security of billions of people.