“The Oceans Treaty is now a reality“, creating the essential framework needed to protect the world’s oceans. This new monumental treaty promises to safeguard the oceans and its wildlife, helping to address the impacts of overfishing and marine pollution, while planting the necessary seeds of restored marine life through a global effort.
After 10 years of negotiations, the nations of the world have finally agreed on the Oceans Treaty. By signing the High Seas Treaty, nations commit to declare 30% of the oceans as protected areas. The deadline for this commitment is 2030. The aim of protection is to safeguard and restore the nature of the oceans.
The UN was the venue where the Oceans Treaty was signed.
The agreement was reached on March 4, after 38 hours of talks and negotiations at the UN headquarters in New York. The delay in signing the agreement is due to disagreements that many nations had until now. The discussion is about fishing rights and funding to implement what was decided at the UN.
Previously, a similar agreement had already been signed in 1982. That is, 40 years ago, an agreement on the Rights of the Sea was signed at the UN Convention. Since then, the marine fauna that exists outside the areas declared as protected, have been depredated by overfishing, climate change and maritime traffic.
The new Global Oceans Treaty aims to protect areas that were previously not reached by any international treaty. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the oceans are in danger. More than 10% of marine species in the oceans are threatened with extinction.
Through the new treaty, which is in the translation and revision phase, new limits will be placed on fishing, maritime traffic and, above all, maritime exploration. The latter activity includes deep sea mining, where minerals are extracted at depths of more than 200 meters. The concern is that this activity generates pollution, both toxic and acoustic. This could affect the breeding grounds of marine animals.
They hope that in the near future the marine fauna will be able to recover.
The International Seabed Authority will be in charge of the supervision of the licenses to be granted. Future activities on the seabed will be subject to strict environmental standards and will be monitored to ensure that they are carried out in a sustainable and responsible manner.
Currently, in what the agreement calls the High Seas area, (where all countries have fishing, research and navigation rights), only 1.2% is protected. The goal is for this 1.2% of protected areas to become 30% by 2030.
Nations must meet again to ratify the agreement and an international system must be created to oversee the new rules to be applied, such as a Technical and Scientific Committee.