21st January 2023
The UN’s 193 Member States adopted a landmark legally binding marine biodiversity agreement on Monday following nearly two decades of fierce negotiations over forging a common wave of conservation and sustainability in the high seas beyond national boundaries – covering two thirds of the planet’s oceans. Here are five key points on why it is important for the world.
1. Fresh protection beyond borders
While countries are responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of waterways under their national jurisdiction, the high seas now have added protection from such destructive trends as pollution and unsustainable fishing activities.
2. Cleaner oceans
Toxic chemicals and millions of tons of plastic waste are flooding into coastal ecosystems, killing or injuring fish, sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals, and making their way into the food chain and ultimately being consumed by humans.
3. Sustainably managing fish stocks
The treaty underlines the importance of capacity building and the transfer of marine technology, including the development and strengthening of institutional capacity and national regulatory frameworks or mechanisms.
4. Lowering temperatures
Global heating is pushing ocean temperatures to new heights, fuelling more frequent and intense storms, rising sea levels, and the salinisation of coastal lands and aquifers.
5. Vital for realising 2030 Agenda
The new agreement “is critical to addressing the threats facing the ocean, and to the success of ocean-related goals and targets, including the 2030 Agenda, the UN chief said on Monday.
Addressing these urgent concerns, the treaty offers guidance, including through an integrated approach to ocean management that builds ecosystem resilience to tackle the adverse effects of climate change and ocean acidification, and maintains and restores ecosystem integrity, including carbon cycling services. Learn More /…