Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want


The Economist World Ocean Summit 2015 was recently held in Cascais Portugal from June 3rd-5th. More than 350 government ministers, business leaders, environmentalists and representatives from multilateral organizations from across the globe convened to discuss how to make the transition from a conventional ocean economy to a new ‘blue’ economy.

The first Pacific Ocean Alliance meeting was held in Suva, Fiji from May 25-7, focused on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

The Costa Rica Thermal Dome (CRTD), in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, is a unique oceanographic feature formed by the interconnection of winds and currents; and as a result, the Dome is a geographically mobile area with ambulatory boundaries. Its size and position vary throughout the year, yet approximately 70% of the CRTD occurs on areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), including its core, which is situated circa 9º N y 90º W. The remaining extension straddles the jurisdictional waters of the Central American countries.


A landmark resolution was adopted earlier today by a consensus of UN member states, to develop a legally-binding treaty for the conservation of marine life beyond national territorial waters – that area of the ocean shared by all. Resolution UNGA 99/292 formalizes the recommendations made last January by the UN Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group (“UN Working Group”) which was tasked with assessing the feasibility of a new treaty, and signals a major step forward toward convening an intergovernmental negotiating conference that would finalize the terms of the new treaty, possibly in 2018. 

Earlier today, His Holiness Pope Francis delivered the much-anticipated Encyclical Letter, “On Care for Our Common Home” addressing the need for collective action in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. Within this prophetic appeal, he addresses many issues contributing to the global environmental crisis and specifically highlights the current exploitation of ocean and marine ecosystems. This includes the impact of ocean acidification, made-made pollution, vanishing marine biodiversity and uncontrolled fisheries.

HRH Prince Albert of Monaco calls for "Throwing a Lifeline for the High Seas" in a June 12 blog in the Huffington Post:“After almost a decade of dialogue, workshops, and speeches, a resolution is about to be tabled at the General Assembly to begin negotiating a new agreement that would be the first of its kind; one that protects biodiversity in ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction, known as the high seas.

‘We need to create trust funds for marine protected areas in perpetuity’ – Sir, We live in a world with a growing population with increasing demands. Yet we are unsustainably exhausting our seas. The ocean economy, the “blue” economy, can only meet our increasing demand if we restore the ocean and manage it better for the goods and services it provides.

The focus of this year’s United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP) meeting from 6 to 10 April was ‘Oceans and sustainable development: Integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, namely, environmental, social and economic’. 

U.N. will begin negotiating new treaty to protect marine life beyond national jurisdiction.

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.


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