UN biodiversity treaty to protect oceans, marine life likely soon

UN biodiversity treaty to protect oceans, marine life likely soon

If ratified, the treaty would be able to designate protected areas, where fishing and other activities that harm marine life are restricted or prohibited.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Monday, March 06, 2023, 08:07 PM IST
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A significant majority of nations agreed on language for a U.N. treaty to protect ocean life, which is under growing threat from climate change, overfishing and seabed mining. The long-awaited deal came after tense talks — and two decades of planning.

Right now, the “high seas,” which spans almost half the planet, are a mostly ungoverned wilderness.

If ratified, the treaty would be able to designate protected areas, where fishing and other activities that harm marine life are restricted or prohibited. And it would create an international framework with a primary focus of protecting ocean species or ecosystems.

Many experts and groups celebrated the treaty as a major win for biodiversity. The high seas have “probably the largest reserve of undiscovered biodiversity left on Earth,” the director of the international oceans program at the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

The process: Before the treaty can take effect, nations need to formally adopt the treaty language and then ratify it.

The stakes: The draft treaty is a step toward a goal set last December: To protect 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030.

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