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UN delegates reach historic agreement on protecting marine biodiversity in international waters - United Nations

hhumpback whale breching backwards out of the ocean, head and pectoral fins are abve the surface
Marine biologists have discovered that whales capture tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.(Image: Unsplash/Thomas Kelley)

Secretary-General António Guterres has congratulated UN member countries for finalizing a text to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, calling it a “breakthrough” after nearly two decades of talks.

“This action is a victory for multilateralism and for global efforts to counter the destructive trends facing ocean health, now and for generations to come,” said the UN chief in a statement issued by his Spokesperson late Saturday evening just hours after the deal was struck at UN Headquarters in New York, where tough negotiations on the draft treaty have been under way for the past two weeks.

The agreement reached by delegates of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, better known by its acronym BBNJ, is the culmination of UN-facilitated talks that began in 2004.

Already being referred to as the ‘High Seas Treaty’, the legal framework would place 30 per cent of the world’s oceans into protected areas, put more money into marine conservation, and covers access to and use of marine genetic resources.

Through his Spokesperson, Mr. Guterres said the treaty is crucial for addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.


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Posted On: 06/03/2023

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