On Christmas Eve, the UN General Assembly sought to deliver a huge Christmas present to the world’s oceans and our planet at large. By adopting a resolution to negotiate a treaty that will protect the high seas, the governments of Mexico and New Zealand coordinated an effort committed to commence discussions in September 2018 to protect the biodiversity of roughly half the planet. Discussions are expected to last into early 2020.
The high seas refer to the roughly two-thirds of the planet’s oceans that sits beyond national jurisdiction. While they play a vital role in protecting Earth’s oceans, climate, and overall environment, currently they are not at all protected by international law. The General Assembly now hopes to address that. Peggy Kalas of the High Seas Alliance, noted: “We are increasingly aware of the importance of the high seas to all life on Earth and this is reflected in the move to protect it. The negotiations will be hard but there are many champion countries that have worked to get us this far and who will continue to push for a robust and meaningful treaty.”
Read more here.
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