Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want


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.  High Seas Alliance team members, Mirella von Lindenfels and Nicholas Steel met with the ocean community at the festival in St Petersburg Florida to build a “wave of change” for the high seas, raising awareness for the urgent need for stronger high seas protection.

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.  Presently, only 2.1% of the

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. Sylvia Earle, and Dan Laffoley, Marine Vice-Chair for the World Commission on Protected Areas.

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.

This winter the High Seas Alliance is building a Wave of Change for the high seas and we want you to join in! Why a Wave of Change? Simple, it’s to raise public awareness about the dire state of our ocean and the urgent need for better protection and governance of the high seas.

At the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), on September 3rd, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Global Ocean Commission (GOC) jointly hosted a side event, SIDS and Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, about the implications for SIDS of the proposed UNCLOS Implementing Agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Panelists included GOC Commissioner Robert Hill, of the Global Ocean Commission, H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, Permanent Representative of St.

GOC Co-chair Trevor Manuel with National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, presenting petition to His Excellency Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson.

On Sunday evening, September 21, as leaders from around the world gathered in New York City at the start of the UN General Assembly's 69th session, Global Ocean Commissioner co-chair Trevor Manuel, together with National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, delivered a petition to His Excellency UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson at an event organized by The Ocean Elders. Reaching over 260,000 signatures, the petition asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support a call to the UN General Assembly to initiate negotiations for a high seas agreement to protect ocean health for the future.

In just a few weeks time, the UN General Assembly will begin its 69th session. Why is this important?  Government representatives from around the world will gather to discuss the future of the ocean and how it should be governed.  At the June 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio-20) governments committed to address on an urgent basis key issues surrounding conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in those areas that fall outside of any one government's national jurisdiction -- the portion that belongs to all of us.

The High Seas Alliance welcomes the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol, which provides a transparent legal framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources from within countries.

Sigourney Weaver supports a new agreement to conserve marine biodiversity on the high seas, as well as the Global Ocean Commission's newly released recommendations. Read her blog


The Global Ocean Commission (www.globaloceancommission.org), made up of former Heads of State, Government ministers and prominent business leaders, has spent 18 months investigating the decline of the global ocean and has developed a rescue package of eight proposals to restore and protect its natural capital and services. The proposals are the culmination of exhaustive deliberations and extensive consultation with experts and stakeholders to inform and shape these proposals.

On Wednesday, June 18, the High Seas Alliance showcased a visual journey of the high seas with photographs by leading marine photojournalists generously provided by the International League of Conservation Photographers. Moderated by Lisa Speer, Director of the International Oceans Program at Natural Resources Defense Council, the panel included Charlotte Vick, Mission Blue and Google Earth “Explore the Ocean” curator, Dr. Kirsten r, Ph.D., Marine Ecologist at Oregon State University, and Kristina Gjerde, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme. 

The UN Working Group's BBNJ meeting is taking place at the United Nations headquarter in New York from June 16-19.   At this second intersessional meeting, governments are deciding whether to launch a new agreement to conserve and protect marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.  See statements made by High Seas Alliance, IUCN, Greenpeace, WWF, and Natural Resources Defense Council. 

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.


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