highseasalliance.org

Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want

Since its founding in 2011, the High Seas Alliance (HSA) with its 37+ non-governmental members and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has been working towards protecting the 50% of the planet that is the high seas. As the region of the global ocean that is beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas includes some of the most biologically important, least protected, and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world.

HSA members work together to inspire, inform and engage the public, decision-makers and experts to support and strengthen high seas governance and conservation, as well as cooperating towards the establishment of high seas protected areas. 

Our current priority is to ensure that an intergovernmental conference taking place at the United Nations from 2018-2020 for the development of a new legally binding treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea results in robust protection for marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The next two years are a particularly critical time as States from around the world negotiate the content of the treaty.

Currently, there are no legally binding mechanisms for establishing marine protected areas outside States’ territorial seas, or for undertaking environmental impact assessments. Yet increasing impacts from overfishing, climate change, deep-seabed mining and shipping continue to negatively affect biodiversity on the high seas.

HSA is working to ensure that treaty negotiations result in robust and effective conservation measures that address gaps in current ocean governance.

After a successful first Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to begin formal negotiations on a new international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), the second session of formal treaty negotiations will take place at UN headquarters in New York City from 25 March - 5 April.

As negotiations for a historic high seas ocean treaty continues, High Seas Alliance members have been organizing a number of meetings and events with governments and regional groups to discuss what a new high seas ocean treaty might include.

 

In late February, Foreign Affairs Peru, Foreign Affairs Colombia and HSA members (AIDA, MarViva Foundation, Global Fishing Watch, IUCN, and the Pew Charitable Trusts, among others) organized the Science Tour "Towards the Negotiation of a New Instrument for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction."