Next steps for the High Seas Treaty

Next steps for the High Seas Treaty


Despite the recent rowing back on ambitious environmental agreements in the EU, such as the failure, so far, of the Nature Restoration Law, the EU remains pivotal in advancing global environmental governance, particularly on ocean protection, and should continue to take the lead.

Télécharger le PDF



High Seas Alliance

Executive Summary

The EU should play a critical role in the new High Seas Treaty, formally known as the United Nations Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ Treaty). This new international agreement aims at closing the governance gap in conserving and managing marine life in the High Seas.

The EU played a critical role in the negotiations leading to the Treaty’s successful negotiation and adoption in 2023, but significant efforts are still needed to garner widespread support for swift ratification and implementation, particularly from regional groups. In view of this important next step to ensure the success of the High Seas Treaty, the EU should now champion ratification and start preparing for implementation.

A key first step would be for the European Parliament to approve ratification ahead of the European elections. The EU and its member states should also prioritise making progress with ratification efforts nationally and leverage the 52 members of the High Ambition Coalition for BBNJ to maintain political momentum and coordinate efforts for early ratification. To ensure the effective working of the Treaty once it enters into force, the EU should also help build strong institutional foundations, notably through the establishment of a Preparatory Commission.

Finally, this paper highlights that there is much work that the EU and its member states can already do to prepare for implementation, in particular laying the groundwork for establishing marine protected areas in the High Seas.

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookies policy. En savoir plus