UN treaty on high seas
08, Sep 2018
Prelims level : Environment / Mains: Paper - III conservation Mains level :
- United Nations begins talks on a 2020 treaty that would regulate the high seas, which cover half the planet.
Need for the Treaty:
- The UN adopted the Convention on the Law of the Sea, but left the high seas free from restrictions.
- The negotiations will relate to spaces beyond national jurisdictions, or areas that belong to no country in particular
- Only five percent of the high seas have been investigated, because most research focuses on coastal areas.
- The main sources of ocean pollution are chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers that are produced and used inland, and eventually find their way to the ocean.
- The treaty could protect some of the most vulnerable and potentially over-exploited ocean resources on earth, particularly deep-water ecosystems and seamounts.
- Protecting these areas, identified by The International Union For The Conservation Of Nature (IUCN) as a top research and conservation priority, could likely yield higher conservation, food security, and climate resilience value than most other areas of the high seas.
About the Treaty:
- Four sessions of talks, each lasting two weeks, are planned to take place over two years, with the goal of protecting marine biodiversity and avoiding further pillaging of the oceans.
- Talk will focus on the high seas and the international zone of marine waters, or about 46% of the planet’s surface
- Talks will focus on creating protected areas on the high seas, more sharing of maritime resources and technology, and research on environmental impacts.