highseasalliance.org

Protecting the Ocean We Need - Securing the Future We Want

The High Seas Alliance (HSA), with its 32 non-government members, as well as the IUCN, has been working towards protecting approximately 50% of the planet that is the high seas, since its founding in 2011. As the region of the global ocean that is beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas includes some of the most biologically important, least protected, and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world.

HSA members work together to inspire, inform and engage the public, decision-makers and experts to support and strengthen high seas governance and conservation, as well as to cooperate toward the establishment of high seas protected areas.  As such, our current priority is a new international legally binding treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that will protect biological diversity in the high seas and seabed.

Currently, there is no legal mechanism with which to establish marine protected areas outside of States’ territorial seas, nor a mechanism to undertake environmental impact assessments. At the same time, increasing impacts from human activity, through overfishing, deep-seabed mining and shipping, as well as climate change, continue to negatively affect biodiversity on the high seas. HSA is working to ensure that current United Nations discussions around the new treaty result in recommendations for robust and effective conservation measures that address gaps in current ocean governance.

Source:The Economic Times
Author: IANS

The first ever UN Ocean Conference came to a close on June 9 with a "Call For Action", over 1,300 voluntary commitments made to support ocean health, and aspirations for a new convention to protect biodiversity in the roughly half of our planet which lies beyond national jurisdictions. 

One of the major issues arising from the Ocean Conference is the need for a treaty to protect the high seas covering half the planet.  The momentum exists because States are returning to the UN next month for their final scheduled Preparatory Meeting, determining whether or not to open up formal negotiations through an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) in 2018.  The High Seas Alliance will be working at the PrepCom to try to ensure this happens.
 

Source: Virgin Unite
Author: Richard Branson

"...And the new, binding treaty for high seas biodiversity can – to borrow a phrase – be the next “giant leap for humankind”. It may make it possible to create MPAs on the high seas, and protect their resources for the shared benefit of all. I urge the people charged with negotiating this Treaty to be bold, to give this Treaty teeth and vision, and make it a game-changing “Paris Agreement” for the ocean."