Victory for the Sea: United Nations Signs the High Seas Treaty – 20 September marks a historic moment in the protection of global biodiversity. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, signed the Treaty on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions on behalf of the European Union. This symbolic act paves the way for a new era of environmental protection encompassing 95 per cent of the ocean, with benefits of extraordinary magnitude for humanity as a whole.
The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions Treaty represents an unprecedented commitment to preserve and protect marine ecosystems that extend beyond the borders of individual nations. These vast areas, often known as ‘international waters’, are rich in biodiversity and play a fundamental role in the ecological balance of our planet.
The implications of this signature are global. Protecting international waters not only preserves vital habitats for countless marine species, but also has a direct impact on human health and prosperity. Benefits include safeguarding fish stocks, supporting local sea-related economies, and regulating the global climate through the oceans’ crucial role in carbon capture.
Moreover, the signing of the Treaty sends a powerful signal of international unity and cooperation in addressing common environmental challenges. The protection of marine biodiversity requires a collective and synergistic commitment by all nations, regardless of political boundaries.
The path now opening towards implementation of the Treaty will require joint global efforts. It will be essential to establish effective mechanisms for monitoring and managing protected areas, and to promote research and innovation to address emerging marine conservation challenges.
Victory for the Sea: United Nations Signs the High Seas Treaty