Home » UN Member States reach agreement to protect ocean life

UN Member States reach agreement to protect ocean life

by Dubaiforum

NEW YORK, 5th March, 2023 (WAM) – After more than 15 years of discussions, UN member states finally agreed Saturday to a text on the first international treaty after years of negotiations to protect the high seas, a fragile and vital treasure that covers nearly half the planet, according to media reports.
“The ship has reached the shore,” conference chair Rena Lee announced at the UN headquarters in New York.

The treaty is seen as essential to conserving 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030, as agreed by world governments in a historic accord signed in Montreal in December.

The high seas begin at the border of countries’ exclusive economic zones, which extend up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) from coastlines. They thus fall under the jurisdiction of no country.

Even though the high seas comprise more than 60 percent of the world’s oceans and nearly half the planet’s surface, they have long drawn far less attention than coastal waters and a few iconic species.

Ocean ecosystems create half the oxygen humans breathe and limit global warming by absorbing much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities.

But they are threatened by climate change, pollution and overfishing.

Only about one percent of the high seas are currently protected.

When the new treaty comes into force it will allow the creation of marine protected areas in these international waters.

The EU also announced $860 million for research, monitoring and conservation of oceans in 2023 at the Our Ocean conference in Panama that ended Friday. Panama said a total of $19 billion was pledged by countries.

Tariq Al Fahaam

Source

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