The United Nations has adopted the High Seas Treaty, the first-ever international treaty aimed at protecting and governing activities such as fishing, mining, and oil extraction in international waters.
About the ratification
The treaty, officially known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty (BBNJ), has been signed by nearly 200 nations after 15 years of discussions. However, the treaty still needs to be ratified by at least 60 member nations to take effect. The next ocean conference in June 2025 in Nice, France, is expected to witness the completion of ratifications.
Its purpose is to prevent species extinctions caused by overfishing, oil extraction,
deep-sea mining, and other environmentally impactful activities on the high seas.
- It establishes Marine protected areas (MPAs) and puts more money into marine conservation and new rules for mining at sea.
- Arrangements for sharing marine genetic resources, such as biological material from plants and animals in the ocean.
- Requirements for environmental assessments for deep sea activities like mining.
- Richer nations have pledged money for the delivery of the treaty. For example, the EU announced nearly 820m euros (£722.3m).
- It also includes guidelines to measure the environmental impacts of high sea activities like fishing and mining and requires countries to present an assessment of those impacts to the UN about any activities that the country is doing in international waters.
- A new group called the Conference of Parties will oversee and enforce compliance with the treaty’s terms.
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UN adopts first ever High Seas Treaty,UN adopts first ever High Seas Treaty