Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want


Dear Ocean Friends,

We are in the midst of unprecedented global health threats that require all of us to recalibrate, and find new ways to approach our work, our communities and our social lives.  In the midst of the postponement of the fourth and final-slated session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC4) to negotiate a legally binding treaty under UNCLOS for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), the ocean is still facing unprecedented threats from human activities.  It is all the more important to use this extended intersessional period as an opportunity to progress negotiations on the President’s draft text.  While the date for IGC4 is yet to be determined, the High Seas Alliance is prepared to support new and innovative ways of working during these challenging times. We must work together, continue the momentum and keep ambition high so that we can conclude IGC4 with a treaty that delivers long-awaited protection for marine life in our high seas.

“RISE UP - a blue call to action” was officially launched in February 2020 at the preparatory meeting for the UN Ocean Conference that will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from 2-6 June 2020. RISE UP has been developed over the past 6 months by a unique collaboration of globally active organizations, including the High Seas Alliance and a number of its members, Indigenous Peoples and Fisherfolk groups, and other ocean conservation organizations.

For the past year, Greenpeace ships have been voyaging across the Atlantic on a Pole to Pole expedition through the high seas, exposing the threats they are facing and campaigning for a strong Global Ocean Treaty that delivers real protection on the high seas. 

The Latin American region’s positive leadership has been tangible towards the final phase of the negotiation of a new legally binding BBNJ Treaty.

In this context, High Seas Alliance representatives held expert meetings for BBNJ working groups in Panama City, Panama and Guatemala City, Guatemala during February, 2020. Foreign Affairs officials from each country provided the chronology of the BBNJ process and updates on the current situation of the negotiations.  Additionally, our experts, Mariamalia Rodríguez and Gladys Martínez, presented on two of the elements under negotiation: area based management tools, including marine protected areas, and environmental impact assessment.

Source: Ocean as Common 

Le 8 juin 2018, nous lancions un Appel pour que l’Ocean soit reconnu comme bien commun de l’Humanité.

Ce mardi 2 décembre 2019, lors de son discours aux Assises de l’économie de la mer, le Président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, a posé ce principe comme fondement de la stratégie maritime de la France.

Good news for global governance of the ocean! 

Peggy Kalas – We’re approaching a once in a generation opportunity for transformative change for the ocean – and we need to make it happen.

In 1967, Arvid Pardo delivered his landmark speech before the United Nations General Assembly urging countries to consider the resources of the ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) as “the common heritage of mankind” and the need for international cooperation to protect the ocean for future generations.

The High Seas Alliance is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of 700 projects from around the globe chosen to participate in the second annual Paris Peace Forum, in Paris from November 11th – 13th.

UN treaty negotiations to conserve and protect nearly two thirds of the ocean re-convene today (19 August 2019), in what is widely regarded as the greatest opportunity in a generation to turn the tide on ocean degradation and biodiversity loss.

Following over a decade of discussions at the UN, this two-week session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is the third in a series of four negotiating sessions through 2020 for a new legally-binding treaty to protect marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. For the first time, and at the mid-way point of the IGC, governments will engage in text-based negotiations. These negotiations are vital because currently there is no overarching legal framework for these global commons to safeguard the ocean’s marine life or its vital role in provisioning services – such as generating oxygen and regulating the climate.

In June, Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) convened a conference – A Global Agreement for the High Seas – to bring together scientific, legal, environmental and political expertise to discuss the BBNJ treaty process with key stakeholders from the United Kingdom (UK). With the UK set to leave the European Union, which negotiates as a bloc within the intergovernmental process, a strong, progressive stance from the UK government could bring a powerful new voice for high seas protection to the negotiations. 

The BLUE conference explored the governance landscape within which the current high seas negotiations sit, shared scientific and economic perspectives on high seas management, and looked at high seas issues through a human rights lens, from the perspective of the Commonwealth group of nations, as well as from a military angle. Participants were then tasked with defining how meaningful high seas protections could be shaped in the fields of politics, law, deep-sea mining and high seas management. 

With just weeks to go before IGC3, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza steamed into the Sargasso Sea in early August to begin the third leg of their ambitious Pole to Pole expedition.  Part of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign to raise global support for a new UN global ocean treaty, the nearly year-long expedition will sail from the Arctic to Antarctica, documenting special ocean places on the high seas and the threats they face.

On May 15-17, 2019 a group of experts in ocean science, policy, law and communications convened in Denver, Colorado to launch the Coral Reefs on the High Seas Coalition, a global alliance of partners that seeks to support the establishment of the first large-scale marine protected areas (MPAs) that would protect mesophotic coral reefs in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The High Seas Alliance welcomes the release of the draft text of an agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (see Draft Text), and congratulates the President of the Intergovernmental Conference, Ambassador Rena Lee, on this achievement.

As negotiations progress for a new international legally binding instrument (‘Instrument’) on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), the relationship of this new BBNJ Instrument to existing regional and sectoral organizations remains a point of intense debate. The new Instrument presents an opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of existing relevant legal instruments and organizations and bring forward a more coherent and comprehensive approach to the protection and conservation of marine biodiversity in the high seas.

Source: RFI - Las Voces Del Mundo
Por Silvia Celi

Las negociaciones sobre un tratado vinculante para conservar y proteger casi dos tercios del océano se reanudaron este lunes en la sede de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), en Nueva York. Los distintos países comenzaron a trabajar para lograr un primer borrador de texto en los próximos quince días.


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