Ocean biodiversity: global agreement on protection and sustainable use of resources and biodiversity in high seas

Today (March 5, 2023) global negotiations concluded on the landmark Treaty of the High Seas to protect the ocean, tackle environmental degradation, fight climate change, and prevent biodiversity loss.

The new treaty will allow to establish large-scale marine protected areas on the high seas, which are also necessary to meet the global commitment of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Agreement concluded last December to protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. For the first time, the treaty will also require assessing the impact of economic activities on high seas biodiversity. Developing countries will be supported in their participation in and implementation of the new treaty by a strong capacity-building and marine technology transfer component, funded from a variety of public and private sources and by an equitable mechanism for sharing the potential benefits of marine genetic resources.

This ‘Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction’ treaty, agreed today at the 5th Intergovernmental Conference in New York, is the fruit of more than a decade of global engagement to find solutions for this crucial global environmental issue. The EU and its Member States have been leading the BBNJ High Ambition Coalition which played a key role in reaching the agreement. The coalition gathers 52 countries which are committed, at the highest political level, to achieve ambitious actions for the protection of the ocean.

More information is in the press release.