A new UN treaty provides for maritime security
“The importance of the oceans is finally being recognized,” World Wildlife Fund’s Nathalie Houtman told the UN on Saturday. Refers to the protection of marine areas outside the treaty marine areas. “Oceans are very important to climate and nature.”
About High seas treatment (High Seas Treaty) was agreed upon by 180 countries and negotiated for more than fifteen years. Houtman says it’s important to protect marine life and set limits on all human activities to restore nature. Nations must work together and respect nature when extracting raw materials from the ocean floor.
A foundation for new deals
“In this agreement, the protection of nature, the extraction of raw materials and the control of the oceans come together,” Houtman says. It is a foundation for new agreements to protect life in the oceans. By 2030, 30 percent of the high seas should be protected areas.
“The health of the oceans is rapidly deteriorating,” Houtman says. “There is overfishing and pollution. This agreement offers opportunities to put an end to that. According to him, it will lead to new agreements, for example, to avoid bycatch in fisheries. Every year, three hundred thousand whales, dolphins and porpoises die in the nets of fishing vessels, he says.
The international arm of the World Wildlife Fund released a report on whale migration in the oceans last week to boost negotiations on the ocean treaty. The organization argues that the areas need to be protected because there are too many collisions with ships and whales get entangled in fishermen’s nets.
A new international peak
To date, there are only limited provisions on activities such as fishing and resource extraction in the high seas and nature conservation. The agreement now is that there should be cooperation and that all countries have the same right to access raw materials.
This increases the likelihood that biodiversity will be preserved, Houtman says. “To further implement this there will be a new international high level and an international agency to monitor the agreements.”
Greenpeace calls the deal ‘historic’. The organization points out that billions of people depend on the oceans for their livelihoods. The organization commends the EU, US, UK and China for their compromise.
Turn the heat down
“The ocean can’t do without conservation, but we can’t do without the oceans,” Houtman says. Just take the role of the oceans in controlling global warming. “More than 90 percent of the increase in warming is absorbed by the ocean. Displacement of cold Gulf Streams causes cooling.”
In addition, the oceans store carbon dioxide. “CO in everything2 Released by humans on Earth in the past ten years, 23 percent was stored in the ocean. One of the most important factors in this is the uptake of carbon dioxide by plankton.
180 countries are yet to sign the treaty. But Minister Mark Harpers (Infrastructure and Water Management) agrees it is an important step. He welcomes the possibility of designating protected areas in the high seas and agreements made on the environmental impact of economic activities.
Billions from rich countries
Houtman says that for fifteen years, economic interests such as fishing and mining, as well as oil extraction, prevented the creation of a framework for marine conservation. Conflicts between the North, which until now benefited most economically from extracting raw materials from the high seas, and the Global South stood in the way of a deal.
In recent days, both the EU and the US have committed billions of euros and dollars to the implementation of the High Seas Agreement.
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