1 March, 2022

From 9-11 in Brest, France, world leaders, governments,  and civil society gathered in Brest, France at the One Ocean Summit,  under the leadership of French President Emmanuel Macron, coinciding with the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, to raise the collective level of ambition on ocean issues, along with concrete commitments and calls to action.  In the opening workshop of the Summit, High Seas Alliance Director, Peggy Kalas, moderated a high level panel on ocean governance that was co-chaired by Ambassador Rena Lee, President of the BBNJ Conference, included views on how to improve global ocean governance gaps as well as a call to action for conclusion of a robust BBNJ agreement in 2022 by Ambassador Waldemar Coutts, Director of Environment and Oceans for Chile.  Other speakers included Secretary-General Henry Puna from the Pacific Island Forum, Ambassador Walton Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, Secretary-General Michael Lodge of the International Seabed Authority, Professor Dire Tladi from University of Pretoria, Francoise Gaill, CNRS and Ocean-climate Platform, Eudes Riblier, President of Institut Francais de la Mer, and closing remarks from Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, and US Asst. Secretary of State, Monica Medina

On March 11, during the high level segment of the Summit, President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen announced the launching of a High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) that was joined by over 40 Heads of State (including all EU Member States), to achieve an ambitious outcome of the BBNJ negotiations in 2022. 

Meanwhile, in the center of Brest, activists from Greenpeace France delivered a strong message calling for world leaders to deliver on their promises and turn words into action to protect the ocean.  The world will be watching as governments gather at the UN to negotiate treaty text in the fourth intergovernmental conference taking place at UN headquarters from 7-18 March.

3 February, 2022

Author: Hannah Rudd

Another year, another meeting of world leaders to discuss the most pressing problem ever to face our global community. After a brief hiatus in 2020, the world came together in Glasgow, UK, in November 2021 to identify long-overdue solutions to the climate crisis. And yet, whilst it is now thankfully firmly rooted within climate negotiations, there was relatively little mention of the importance of ocean recovery in the bid to reverse climate catastrophe through resilience. Great strides were made for the world’s green lungs with the landmark Glasgow COP26 Declaration on Forest and Land Use, but what about its blue lungs?  

Continue reading The Elephant in the Room: Why Are We Ignoring the Industrial Fishing Industry’s Carbon Footprint?

12 November, 2021

Authors: Catarina Lorenzo & Lydia Rysavy

Right now, politicians from around the world are wrapping up their meetings in Glasgow to discuss climate action at COP26. All of their decisions – or lack thereof  – will determine almost every aspect of our lives and those of generations to come. Climate may be at the centre of the conversation, but we cannot forget about the ocean. 

Continue reading Climate action is ocean action – both are long overdue!

28 September, 2021

Authors: Lydia Rysavy (Sweden), John Paul Jose (India), Milla Heckler (United States), Jihyun Lee (South Korea), Fabio Alfaro (Mexico), Catarina Lorenzo (Brazil), Olivia Livingstone (Liberia)

Whether you know them as the High Seas, international waters, or the Latin mare liberum, the bodies of water that lie beyond national jurisdiction are key to ensuring the survival of our planet and the human race.

It sounds dramatic, but the ocean —though often left out of climate conversations— is one of the most vital tools for tackling climate change. In fact, there are a number of reasons why healthy High Seas are vital for humanity; for example, they are one of the most important carbon sinks on our planet, having taken up around a quarter of excess CO2 from human-generated emissions. Furthermore, intact ecosystems in all parts of the ocean, including the High Seas, contribute to carbon transport and sequestration from surface waters to the deep sea, where it can be stored for long periods of time. And let’s not forget that ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves offer protection for coastal communities from storms and floods exacerbated by the climate crisis.

Continue reading Why The High Seas Must Be Part of Discussions at the UN Youth4Climate Summit In Rome

22 June, 2021

Author: Milla Heckler

In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, off the coast of Central America, there is a phenomenon that is persistent enough from year to year to be considered an oceanographic feature – it is referred to as the Costa Rica Thermal Dome and  is an incredible marine biodiversity hotspot. Due to its high levels of biodiversity, the Dome is ripe for scientific discoveries and learning. 

Continue reading Costa Rica Thermal Dome Adventure and the need for a strong High Seas Treaty

8 June, 2021

Over 100 participants from 20 governments in the Middle East and North Africa region came together in January 2021 to discuss the urgent need for increased ocean protection to combat the escalating climate crisis and dramatic biodiversity loss worldwide. The virtual regional workshop was convened by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The workshop outlined the benefits to people and the planet of an ambitious target to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and sea by 2030 and the critical importance of a robust new High Seas treaty to deliver that goal.

Continue reading Middle East – North Africa Virtual Regional Workshop

8 June, 2021

Greenpeace ships Arctic Sunrise and the Rainbow Warrior are currently voyaging through the high seas of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific: crucial battlegrounds against destructive industries, home to unique ecosystems and surrounded by coastal communities that a strong Global Ocean Treaty would help protect.

Continue reading Greenpeace in the Pacific and Indian Ocean Basins and the dire need for a Global Ocean Treaty