Working to Protect the High Seas

Yerpo, UN General Assembly flags

Oceans 5 supports the High Seas Alliance, a partnership comprised of more than 37 organizations working to improve protection of the nearly 50 percent of the planet that is the high seas. As the region of the global ocean that is beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas includes some of the most biologically important, least protected, and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world.  Currently, there are few legally binding mechanisms for establishing marine protected areas outside States’ territorial seas, or for undertaking environmental impact assessments.

This project aims to ensure that an intergovernmental conference taking place at the United Nations from 2018-2020 for the development of a new legally binding treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, results in robust protection for marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including a framework for establishing marine protected areas and reserves in the high seas. This is the first global treaty process related to the ocean in over two decades and the only one targeted specifically at the protection of marine biodiversity in ABNJ. The High Seas Alliance is committed to working with States towards the adoption, ratification and implementation of this comprehensive treaty to protect the world’s ocean beyond national jurisdiction.