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HIGH SEAS TREATY 2023



  Jun 13, 2024

HIGH SEAS TREATY 2023



The High Seas Treaty, also known as the agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction or ‘BBNJ’, was signed in New York on 20 September during the United Nations High-Level Week. Numerous countries signed the treaty, marking a significant step towards global ocean governance.

Key Provisions of the High Seas Treaty

The treaty aims to:

1. Promote Equity and Fairness: Ensure that all nations benefit from the resources and opportunities of the high seas.

2. Tackle Environmental Degradation: Implement measures to protect marine environments from pollution and other harmful activities.

3. Fight Climate Change: Address the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems.

4. Prevent Biodiversity Loss: Protect marine species and their habitats from overexploitation and destruction.

Significance of the Agreement

The adoption of this treaty is a historic achievement, culminating over a decade of multilateral work. It complements the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides the legal framework for all human activities in the ocean.

Next Steps

Once ratified, the High Seas Treaty will:

• Establish marine protected areas at a global level, safeguarding the ocean from human pressures and contributing significantly to climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection.
• Set a framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from marine genetic resources.
• Support capacity building and transfer of marine technologies to developing countries.
• Create a voluntary fund to help developing countries achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 on ‘Life Below Water’.

Importance of the High Seas

Areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the high seas and the seabed, contain valuable marine resources and biodiversity. They provide crucial ecological, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and food security benefits to humanity. However, they face mounting pressures from pollution, overexploitation, climate change, and biodiversity loss. The High Seas Treaty addresses these challenges and aims to manage marine resources more holistically.

This treaty represents a significant step towards better global governance of the high seas, promoting sustainable use and protection of marine biodiversity for future generations.




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