Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want


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.

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.


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