UN High Seas Treaty

Posted on: March 29th, 2023

UN High Seas Treaty

UN delegates reach historic agreement on protecting marine biodiversity in international waters

On 5 March 2023 the UN reached an historic agreement to protect our oceans –  referred to by some as ‘the High Seas Treaty’.

An agreement of this kind has been a long time coming, and is hugely important as our use of the oceans has been shockingly unsustainable and short-sighted  for decades.

As well as providing us with food we are utterly reliant on the oceans as a carbon sink and as a producer of oxygen… so the importance of protecting marine flora and fauna (‘biodiversity’) cannot be overstated.

In summary – this is an important step towards protecting huge swathes of the ‘high seas’, but agreement on the specifics of ‘what, where and how’ are yet to be agreed, so further information will follow in due course.

The UN announced the agreement here.

UN Secretary General 4 March 2023 statement and comment:

‘Secretary-General António Guterres has congratulated UN member countries for finalizing a text to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, calling it a “breakthrough” after nearly two decades of talks’.

Further reading:

  • The BBC website offers a further write up and links (as well as some wonderful photos).
  • The Blue Marine foundation is well known for its exceptional work in this area, you may recognise the CEO’s name (Clare Brook, formerly of NPI and WHEB)
  • Blue Marine’s Founder Charles Clover, recently published a fantastically informative book on the topic ‘Rewilding the Sea: How to Save Our Oceans’ .  I am happy to recommend this.