High Seas Alliance at ‘Immersed in Change’, Costa Rica.

Date: 17th June 2024

HSA at the High Level Event on Ocean Action: Immersed in Change in Costa Rica on 7-8 June 2024.

One year ahead of the 3rd UN Ocean Conference (UNOC3) in France, June 2025, political leaders and civil society gathered in Costa Rica for a ‘High Level Event on Ocean Action: Immersed in Change’. 

Rebecca Hubbard and Mariamalia Rodríguez Chaves provide an update ‘vlog’ from Costa Rica.

The High Seas Alliance has indeed immersed itself in discussions and, moreover, the High Seas Treaty was embedded in the ‘Immersed in Change’ conversation. It engaged ministers in discussion on the swift ratification of the High Seas Treaty and attended bilateral meetings throughout the event – with Argentina signing the ‘Octavia Declaration’ board, thereby committing to doing all it can to secure at least 60 country ratifications by UNOC3.

Rebecca Hubbard, Director of the High Seas Alliance, and Mariamalia Rodríguez Chaves, High Seas Alliance’s Latin America coordinator, talked about the importance of High Seas issues at the event co-hosted by Costa Rica and France on 7-8 June 2024, in San José. 

Rebecca Hubbard and Paola Di Chiaro, Secretary for the Malvinas Islands, Antarctica, and the South Atlantic, Republic of Argentina signing the Octavia Commitment.
High Seas Alliance attending a meeting with the Chilean government.

Indeed, during the opening plenary, Costa Rica re-asserted its commitment to swift ratification and shortly afterward announced the delivery of its ratification to Congress. Further governments re-affirmed their steadfast conviction to ratify ahead of UNOC3.

Ambassador Peter Thomson speaking at opening plenary.

Across side events on varied and diverse ocean issues, we heard the High Seas Treaty heralded as an exemplification of multilateral cooperation in the face of adversity and challenge, a palpable indicator of progress in the fight to save our ocean and our global biodiversity. As Emanuel Macron of France said in a remote address to plenary: “The international community is mobilizing its efforts for the protection of the ocean. […] In just two years, one summit after another we have managed to adopt two historic agreements. The first is the goal of protecting at least 30% of the ocean by 2030, and the second is concerned with the protection of Marine biodiversity in the High Seas, the BBNJ agreement. […] You see, over the last two years, we have woken up, so to speak, the international community when it comes to the protection of our ocean.” 

Emanuel Macron remotely addressing plenary.

Octavia the octopus, a mascot for the High Seas Alliance’s Race for Ratification campaign, made several playful guest appearances throughout the conference. Whether it was the captivating installation by Costa Rican artist Carlos Hiller, or the 10-foot tentacle that greeted conference goers upon entry, everyone was reminded of the importance of the issues at stake and the urgent need to accelerate the race for ratification of the High Seas Treaty.

High Seas Alliance members with the ‘Octavia’ tentacle.
Rebecca Hubbard and Ola Kuznia with ‘Octavia’ art installation.

But Octavia’s presence wasn’t purely celebratory – it carried an urgent message. Without ratification by at least 60 UN Member States, the Treaty agreement cannot be put into action in the water. With pen in tentacle, she reminded everyone to “Save the Ocean. Ratify the High Seas Treaty Now!”.

Close up of the Octavia art installation.

Posted on Categories Featured News Treaty Ratification