15 November, 2023

On 19 June 2023, the international community adopted the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement, also known as the High Seas Treaty). The Agreement opened for State signature on 20 September 2023 and will remain open for signature for two years. It will enter into force 120 days after 60 State ratifications. Until then, signatories are obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the Agreement.

Continue reading Briefings: Deep Dives into the provisions of the BBNJ Agreement

14 March, 2023

On 4 March 2023, after almost two decades of discussion, including five years of negotiations, the world’s governments finalized the text of a new United Nations (UN) Treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), under the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). After the text was legally “scrubbed” and translated into the six official UN languages, the final Treaty text was formally adopted by Member States at the UN on 19 June 2023.

For the Treaty to become international law, it must be signed and ratified by at least 60 countries. The 60th country to ratify will trigger a 120-day countdown, after which the Treaty will enter into force.

Continue reading Treaty Q&A

1 February, 2023

The greatest opportunity in a generation to conserve ocean life and diversity on a global scale and safeguard 2/3 of the world’s ocean is happening right now. World governments are in the final stages of negotiating a new treaty under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) – the first ever to focus on conserving and ensuring sustainable use of biodiversity of the ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), which includes the water column or “the high seas” and the seabed below. Comprising nearly half the planet, the high seas are a true global common.

Continue reading What does ambition look like for the High Seas Treaty?

18 November, 2021

Discover a few of the incredible biodiversity hotspots in the high seas that deserve priority protection and could become the first generation of high seas MPAs under a new UN High Seas Treaty.

The Thermal DomeEnglish | Spanish

The Lost CityEnglish

Sargasso SeaEnglish

South Tasman Sea / Lord How RiseEnglish

Walvis RidgeEnglish

Salas y Gómez & Nazca RidgesEnglish | Spanish

Emperor Seamounts English

Saya de MalhaEnglish | Spanish | French

6 August, 2021

HSA has developed concise briefings on key BBNJ Treaty issues for negotiators and decision-makers: 

Area-based Management Tools and Marine Protected Areas

Environmental Impact Assessments 

Cross-cutting Issues