Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want


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."


Greenpeace is urging governments at the UN to create a strong Global Ocean Treaty which could pave the way for the protection of at least 30% of the world's oceans by 2030 via a network of ocean sanctuaries.

Government representatives from over 30 States around the world will convene in Lisbon, (5-6 March 2019) at the invitation of the Portuguese government.

Source: TRT World

The High Seas are a vast expanse of water and home to 90 percent of marine life but are largely unregulated. Fishing, research, deep-sea mining - all can take place at the expense of the environment. Now the United Nations has launched negotiations for an international treaty to protect the oceans.

The main business of the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) concluded with applause on Friday, September 14 and closing remarks by the President of the Conference Ambassador Rena Lee of Singapore. There was a palpable sense of optimism in the room, as it was evident that there is a clear path towards a treaty to protect the high seas.

Source: BBC
Author: Matt McGrath

The first significant steps towards legally protecting the high seas are to take place at the UN in New York.

Treaty negotiations to conserve and protect nearly two thirds of the ocean open today at the United Nations (UN) in what is widely regarded as the greatest opportunity in a generation to turn the tide on ocean degradation and biodiversity loss.

The 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) took place from 5-9 March (the Council), and 16-26 July 2018 Council and Assembly) in Kingston, Jamaica. The main topics for Council (the 36 members elected by the Assembly representing different interest groups), plus observers were the draft regulations on deep seabed mining, models for a financial payment system, issues of non-compliance of contractors, and possible operationalization of the Enterprise.

The technical and scientific subsidiary body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or otherwise known as SBSTTA, met in July, in Canada, to discuss a pathway to review existing and describe new marine areas of ecological and biological significance and to recommend on ways to improve scientific credibility and transparency of the process.

Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) continues its support of a strong UN treaty that will create lasting protections for high seas biodiversity, through its research, mapping and communications.

In recognition that well-informed participation in the upcoming BBNJ intergovernmental conference (IGC) will be critical for the advancement of the negotiations, States and regional groups have been dedicating time and resources in preparing their national positions and participating in various forums to share expertise and address common interests.

Thank you Co- Chairs, and I join others in congratulating you on your appointment as co-chairs of the ICP.  I am speaking on behalf of the High Seas Alliance, the Interamerican Association of Environmental Defense, and the Int’l Fund of Animal Welfare (IFAW). We also align ourselves with the statement to be made from OceanCare. We are grateful that the Informal Consultative Process and the work of DOALOS provides a collaborative forum to delve into critical issues that affect our ocean, including this pressing issue anthropogenic ocean noise.

The High Seas Alliance (HSA) and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), congratulate ocean champion Kristina Gjerde for winning this year’s Visionary Ocean Award.


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