Global Ocean Treaty Negotiation Starts Today!


#ocean #UNCLOS #climate change #pollution #biodiversity #BBNJ #ABNJ

Well, the full name of the process, take a deep breath before reading out, is the First session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Phew, let's call it thefirst UN ocean treaty negotiation meetingfor short. It starts today until September the 17th in the United Nations headquarter.

Actually, the years of effort to establish this negotiation process might not be much shorter than the length of its full name. It has been a long journey.

Our oceans has been facing increasing pressures from climate change, pollution, industrial fishing and other human activity. It is critical that we take action now. Scientists tell us that if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change and protect wildlife, we need to protect at least 30% of our oceans by 2030.

Governments can already create sanctuaries in their own national waters. And there are places around the world, like the Antarctic, where there are separate processes that allow governments to work together to protect the oceans. But there is currently no way to create ocean sanctuaries for the majority of our global oceans. Current ocean law focuses more on the right to exploit these international waters than on any duty to protect them. So if we're going to protect at least 30% of the oceans by 2030 then this has to change - and fast.

That's why there have been a calling on our political leaders to push for a strong Global Ocean Treaty that will allow us to create a network of ocean sanctuariesaround the world, to provide a safe haven for wildlife populations to recover, free from human activity, but the benefits are global.

After more than a decade of informal discussions and preparatory work, countries at the UN have agreed to develop a new set of rules to protect biodiversity on the high seas: a Global Ocean Treaty. This is our historic opportunity and first step to define global ocean protection for generations to come. If successful, this treaty would become the foundation for how governments create, manage and enforce ocean sanctuaries around the world. Negotiation at this session of meeting and meetings in the coming years are crucial. It could conclude as early as 2020.

Called by a bunch of civil societies, The Global Ocean Treaty must create a 'one-stop shop': a global system for establishing and implementing ocean sanctuaries on the high seas. These sanctuaries must be highly protected marine reserves that are off limits to all extractive and destructive uses, to give ocean life a chance to recover and thrive.
It must have the power, through its member states, to create sanctuaries with strong management and conservation measures, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, to avoid the risk of 'paper parks' to be created: areas that are protected only on paper, but in which the threat and destruction of the marine realm continues unhindered.
It must also have a strong institutional structure for global majority decision-taking by member states, as well as scientific and compliance bodies to review and strengthen implementation and compliance.

Association 3 Herissons stand with millions of people to call for a strong treaty to protect our beloved ocean!

For more details, please see Greenpeace.