We join together in urging countries to conclude an ambitious, equitable and robust new High Seas Treaty in 2022.
The High Seas makes up nearly 2/3 of the global ocean and supports the largest reservoir of biodiversity on Earth. But despite the myriad threats to it, less than 1% is effectively protected and the patchwork of regimes governing industrial activities like fishing, shipping and seabed mining, are not equipped to address the cumulative impact of all the activities affecting the marine realm, including the compounding and interacting effects of climate change.
A high ambition Treaty must provide a legal mechanism for the creation and effective management of a network of marine protected areas; ensure sufficient, equitable and easily accessible financing for implementation; strengthen the environmental assessment and management of human activity to prevent significant adverse impacts and establish effective decision-making procedures for the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty, so that the international community can act swiftly and decisively to conserve marine life in the high seas and on the sea floor.
We cannot reach the widely supported goal of protecting at least 30% of the ocean without a strong and future-proof High Seas Treaty that challenges the status quo and lifts the capacity of all States and stakeholders.
A healthy, vibrant, functioning ocean is vital to everyone on Earth. As countries embark on the final stages of negotiations for a UN High Seas Treaty, we call on them to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure the health and resilience of our global ocean and to maintain the high ambition needed to conserve the largest and most threatened part of our ocean for us and future generations.
A strong Treaty will finally set humans on a new sustainable path and secure a healthy future for our planet.
See the full letter here
©Gavin Newman Greenpeace