EU leadership critical to finalise strong High Seas Treaty

EU leadership critical to finalise strong High Seas Treaty


In little over two weeks the world’s governments will meet in New York at the United Nations to put in place a key piece of the ocean governance puzzle- a brand new treaty to protect marine biodiversity found in the international waters that lie beyond national jurisdiction - more commonly known as the High Seas. At this resumed 5th Intergovernmental Conference (IGCFinal) from 20th February – 3rd March, the European Union and its Member States have a key role to play in ensuring that this treaty, with such high stakes for the planet, is successful in getting concluded before this window of opportunity closes.


High Seas Alliance

EU leadership critical to finalise strong High Seas Treaty

How do we ensure that after all the time, effort and resources that have gone into negotiating this new agreement, we agree on a future-proofed Treaty and do not end up with a slightly modified version of the status quo?

Will the treaty have the power to put in place highly and fully protected marine areas, which is beyond the existing mandate of most regional and sectoral management bodies?

Will the treaty put safeguards in place to adequately assess, manage and prevent significant adverse effects from new and expanding industries?

Will the treaty have effective decision-making provisions, that ensure key decisions can be voted on, rather than relying solely on consensus that perpetuates a hamster wheel of inaction we are witnessing in other fora? 

Will the treaty have a robust institutional framework to ensure effective implementation and compliance? 

Will the treaty be underpinned with adequate and timely funding to support implementation and capacity building as well as a fair and equitable access and benefit-sharing regime for marine genetic resources?

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