For the past year, Greenpeace ships have been voyaging across the Atlantic on a Pole to Pole expedition through the high seas, exposing the threats they are facing and campaigning for a strong Global Ocean Treaty that delivers real protection on the high seas.
HSA Member Activities
The Latin American region’s positive leadership has been tangible towards the final phase of the negotiation of a new legally binding BBNJ Treaty.
“RISE UP – a blue call to action” was officially launched in February 2020 at the preparatory meeting for the UN Ocean Conference that will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from 2-6 June 2020. RISE UP has been developed over the past 6 months by a unique collaboration of globally active organizations, including the High Seas Alliance and a number of its members, Indigenous Peoples and Fisherfolk groups, and other ocean conservation organizations.
In June, Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) convened a conference – A Global Agreement for the High Seas – to bring together scientific, legal, environmental and political expertise to discuss the BBNJ treaty process with key stakeholders from the United Kingdom (UK). With the UK set to leave the European Union, which negotiates as a bloc within the intergovernmental process, a strong, progressive stance from the UK government could bring a powerful new voice for high seas protection to the negotiations.
With just weeks to go before IGC3, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza steamed into the Sargasso Sea in early August to begin the third leg of their ambitious Pole to Pole expedition. Part of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign to raise global support for a new UN global ocean treaty, the nearly year-long expedition will sail from the Arctic to Antarctica, documenting special ocean places on the high seas and the threats they face.
On May 15-17, 2019 a group of experts in ocean science, policy, law and communications convened in Denver, Colorado to launch the Coral Reefs on the High Seas Coalition, a global alliance of partners that seeks to support the establishment of the first large-scale marine protected areas (MPAs) that would protect mesophotic coral reefs in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Greenpeace is urging governments at the UN to create a strong Global Ocean Treaty which could pave the way for the protection of at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 via a network of ocean sanctuaries. Over the next 12 months, Greenpeace will sail from the Arctic to the Antarctic, undertaking ground-breaking research and investigations, and using what we find to inspire millions around the world to join us in supporting healthy oceans and a strong Global Ocean Treaty by 2020. Ahead of the second Intergovernmental Conference, Greenpeace has been engaging with decision makers in more than 20 capitals worldwide. Our political team will also be heading to New York. Greenpeace’s briefing to the IGC2 offers recommendations for improved text on Marine Protected Areas.
The Ocean Awards are held by Boat International in partnership with Blue Marine Foundation and aim to recognize and reward those who have shown exceptional commitment towards issues currently facing our ocean. In particular, the Visionary Award recognizes individuals (or groups) that have taken the lead on globally significant actions for the benefit of ocean health.
The ocean is crucial for life on earth, yet much of it lacks comprehensive environmental safeguards. Providing oxygen we breathe, food we eat, and performing important roles in planetary systems like moderating our climate, a lot is at stake when we risk the health of the ocean. Hearteningly, governments began formal negotiations this week to develop a treaty that will protect the high seas: an area the size of nearly half the planet.Over the next several years, governments at the United Nations (UN) have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put in place environmental safeguards for the high seas, which make up two-thirds of the world’s ocean. This week’s meeting marks the beginning of the intergovernmental conference to negotiate an international legally-binding treaty.
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Author: Liz Karen
Protecting marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction
In June 2015, world leaders made the extraordinary decision to develop an international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the high seas. These areas make up two-thirds of the world’s ocean but are managed by a patchwork of bodies that regulate fishing, mining, shipping, and other activities for specific areas of the ocean. These bodies lack the legal mandate to establish comprehensive marine protected areas and marine reserves, or other conservation policies to protect biodiversity throughout an ecosystem. The new treaty could help to close these gaps in global ocean governance and deliver much-needed protection to the world’s ocean. However, the success of the agreement will be determined by negotiations continuing through 2017 at the United Nations Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings, which will set the stage for a formal treaty.