Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want


It is time for Ocean Lovers worldwide to celebrate! After years of political foot-dragging, and four hectic days of negotiations at the United Nations, a breakthrough came in the wee hours of Saturday morning, 24 January: governments around the world agreed to develop a legally-binding treaty to protect marine life beyond national territorial waters.

In the early hours of a snowy Saturday morning in New York, United Nations delegates took a historic step towards safeguarding the global ocean commons. Government representatives at a UN meeting agreed to launch a formal preparatory process for a global and legally-binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.

Countries have agreed to start formal negotiations on a new “legally binding instrument” for the high seas.The Global Ocean Commission welcomes the decision on 24 January by the United Nations Informal Working Group on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) to begin negotiations for a new international agreement for the sustainable use and conservation of marine biodiversity in the high seas

After four days and a hard night of negotiations, governments meeting at the UN last week took a historic step toward ending the centuries-long free for all on the high seas.

New York, 24 January 2015: States took a major step toward urgently needed ocean protection at the UN today agreeing to develop a legally binding agreement to conserve marine life in the high seas.

On the final morning of a UN Meeting striving to achieve historic protection for the high seas, environmental organizations applauded the vast majority of States working hard to bring about a positive outcome.

The third day of the BBNJ is a long one as the meeting extended into an evening session in order for government delegates to continue negotiating the text of a possible UNGA resolution to launch negotiations for a treaty that would help protect ungoverned areas of the ocean beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

On the first day of the UN BBNJ meeting High Seas Alliance members addressed State delegates through interventions and stressed the urgent need for a high seas biodiversity implementing agreement. You can read the full intervention statements from the High Seas Alliance members NRDC, Greenpeace and MarViva as well as the Sylvia Earle Alliance.

Governments take it to the wire as third UN meeting on fate of the high seas gets ready to begin in New York.

Over the past two months, High Seas Alliance members have been actively engaged in a number of regional workshops to discuss a new implementing agreement (IA) under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Between the 12 - 19 November 2014, over 6000 people from 170 countries came together in Sydney, Australia, for the World Parks Congress; a landmark global forum on protected areas held every ten years. As the world’s most influential gathering of people involved in protected area management, it sets the global agenda for the following decade.

From Nov. 2-9,  High Seas Alliance members participated in the Blue Ocean Film Festival held in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The prestigious festival is one of the biggest environmental documentary film events in the world, with projects from the likes of 60 Minutes, National Geographic, the Smithsonian Channel and Telemundo. The seven-day event drew about 20,000 people.

In partnership with the Waitt Foundation, Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) has been tracking global progress towards protecting oceans using data curated on its website MPAtlas

On Monday, Nov. 17, at the World Parks Congress in Sydney Australia, noted New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman, co-moderated with NRDC’s Director of the International Ocean Programme, Lisa Speer, a special panel featuring Environment Ministers Greg Hunt and Edna Molewa, respectively from Australia and South Africa.  Other notable guests on the panel included Global Ocean Commissioner Robert Hill, and the Executive Secretary of Guatemala’s National Commission on Protected Areas, Benedicto Lucas.  The audience was filled with numerous marine experts, including Dr.

High Seas Alliance members will be participating in a number of activities during the World Parks Congress (WPC) taking place in Sydney Australia from 12-19 November.  This landmark global forum meets once every decade and sets the agenda on protected areas -- for both land and sea -- for the next decade.


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