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Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want

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The Jamaican government, in collaboration with the High Seas Alliance and Pew Charitable Trusts, hosted a regional workshop for CARICOM from 19-21 May in Kingston, Jamaica to consider a new implementing agreement under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

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High Seas Alliance and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition member organizations urge United States Secretary Kerry's Our Ocean Conference to include a discussion of a new implementing agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, presently being considered at the United Nations.

On the final day of this week’s UN Working Group meeting to discuss ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) the High Seas Alliance was encouraged by the majority of world governments voicing their support for a high seas biodiversity agreement.

On the third day of the UN BBNJ meeting the High Seas Alliance continued to participate in discussions with States as they debated points of support and concern around feasibility of a high seas biodiversity implementing agreement.

On the second day of the UN BBNJ meeting members of the High Seas Alliance joined in discussions with State delegates through interventions on scope and parameters for a high seas biodiversity implementing agreement.

A side event organised by the High Seas Alliance drew a good number of delegates during the BBNJ meeting today. The Panellists addressed the importance of achieving an Implementing Agreement under UNCLOS with strong calls to action.

High Seas Alliance members attending the UN Borders Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) meeting welcomed a statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today, calling on countries to urgently address the many stresses facing the marine life found in international waters.

On the first day of the UN BBNJ meeting the High Seas Alliance addressed state delegates through an intervention & stressed the urgent need for a high seas biodiversity implementing agreement.

UN BBNJ Plenary meeting

The new phase of the United Nations high seas marine biodiversity (BBNJ)* process begins today in New York, with States meeting to begin consideration of a new Implementing Agreement (IA) under the Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS).

The Tenth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is meeting at the United Nations in New York from 31 March-4 April. The High Seas Alliance and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition have made a submission on proposed elements for inclusion in an Ocean SDG: Achieve healthy, productive and resilient oceans.

Filling the Governance Gaps
Scope, Parameters and Feasibility of a High Seas Marine Biodiversity Agreement
Wednesday, April 2 1:15-2:45 Conference Room 2 CB

Our ocean is at risk as man’s increasing impact on the oceans have put cumulative stresses that threaten not only vulnerable sealife and marine ecosystems, but potentially, human health and serious socio-economic costs. The current governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is characterized by a fragmented and often incoherent patchwork of regional and sectoral regimes.  The time has come for a shift in the past ocean governance paradigm, one that fills the current gaps and expands to be effective for both emerging and future unknown uses.

A healthy ocean is essential to sustaining life on Earth. However, scientific assessments reveal that the loss of marine biodiversity is increasingly harming the ocean’s ability to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from adverse impacts. Degraded ecosystems, such as those that have lost biodiversity, are less resilient to increased pressure, in particular those resulting from climate change. 

For immediate release - Responding to the release of a message by senior Ministers attending an Ocean meeting in Ajaccio, Corsica, the High Seas Alliance welcomed the strong support shown for legal measures to protect biodiversity in the high seas.

The High Seas Alliance is coordinating an effort to collect scientists’ support for a high seas biodiversity agreement. It urges countries to honor the commitment made by governments at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 Conference.

An Open Letter from International Scientists on the need for a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement

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