About 190 nations have reached an agreement to safeguard ocean biodiversity from challenges including overfishing, climate change, and deep-sea mining after ten years of negotiations.
According to BBC News and other agencies, the High Seas Treaty was concluded over the weekend following 38 nonstop hours of negotiations at the UN headquarters in New York City.
The agreement offers a framework for creating additional protected ocean zones under many nations’ control. By 2030, these zones will be established, covering 30% of the world’s oceans.
The pooling of genetic resources, fishing rights, and money were said to be sticking points. The talks, which were supposed to end on Friday, went well into Saturday.
Although the U.N. still needs to ratify the agreement. Conservationists welcomed it as a significant victory and later approved it by member nations.
“We have never been able to conserve and manage marine life in the ocean beyond countries’ jurisdictions,” Rebecca Hubbard, director of the High Seas Alliance of nongovernmental organizations, told The Washington Post. “This will undoubtedly change the world.”
German environment minister Steffi Lemke said, “We are getting a binding deal for the high seas, which until now have rarely been safeguarded.
Across more than 40% of the Earth’s surface, comprehensive preservation of endangered species and their ecosystems is finally feasible.
U.N. “A win for multilateralism and for worldwide efforts to address the damaging trends threatening ocean health, now and for years to come,” said spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric of the deal.
To confront the triple planetary catastrophe of pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change, the action is “critical,” he continued.