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HomeScienceLeaders seek a fifth time to pass the UN Oceans Treaty.

Leaders seek a fifth time to pass the UN Oceans Treaty.

Later, world leaders will convene at the United Nations in New York for additional discussions on preventing the overexploitation of the oceans.

The UN High Seas Treaty has been negotiated for ten years, although it has not yet been signed.

If accepted, 30% of the world’s oceans would be designated as protection zones by 2030.

Leaders seek a fifth time to pass the un oceans treaty.

It is hoped that it will safeguard marine life against overfishing and other human activities.

Currently, two-thirds of the world’s oceans are classified as international waters, meaning that all nations have the freedom to fish, sail, and conduct research there. However, only 1.2% of these so-called “high seas” are protected.

This puts the marine species there vulnerable to exploitation by climate change, overfishing, and shipping.

And because ecosystems in the high oceans are little recorded, conservationists are concerned that species may die extinct before they are discovered.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded research published earlier this year estimates that 10 to 15 percent of marine species are already threatened with extinction.

Leaders seek a fifth time to pass the un oceans treaty.
Leaders seek a fifth time to pass the un oceans treaty.

During past discussions, the International Union for the Conservation of Form (IUCN) stated that the “traditional fragmented nature of ocean governance” has impeded the effective preservation of the high seas.

The deal would establish a network of Marine Protected Areas in portions of the world’s oceans. Before allowing commercial activities such as deep-sea mining to continue, environmental impact studies would be conducted.

Deep-sea mining is the extraction of minerals from the seabed 200 meters or more below the surface. According to the IUCN, the process of extracting these minerals, which include the cobalt used in electronics, could be hazardous to marine life.

The International Seabed Authority, which governs these activities, had issued 31 contracts for mineral exploration in the deep sea as of March 2022.

Countries are also seeking to incorporate in the treaty provisions that provide developing and landlocked states with greater access to Marine Genetic Resources (MGR).

MGR is biological material derived from plants and animals in the ocean that has applications in pharmaceuticals, industrial operations, and food production.

However, progress has been slow since Covid-19 has prevented countries from the meeting. Also contributing to the delay was disagreement about what should be included in the legal treaty.

Some nations, including Russia and Iceland, wish to exclude fisheries.

Countries decided in March to have a fifth and final session to try to sign the Treaty, with a deadline of the end of the year.

If this does not occur, a representative for the EU informed that the EU remains dedicated to the issue: “The EU will insist on a swift continuation of the negotiations.”

They stated, “Action is required to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean for present and future generations.”

Rena Lee, the president of the conference, stated after the most recent round of failed discussions, “I hope that with ongoing commitment, perseverance, and attention, we will be able to create bridges and close the remaining gaps.”

As so many people depend on the seas for food, income, and recreation, protecting the oceans is equally essential for human populations.

According to researchers from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the worldwide marine ecosystems are projected to be worth more than £41 trillion.


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