Environmental groups welcome the high seas biodiversity deal

(OTTAWA) Environmental groups have hailed the new deal to protect biodiversity on the high seas, a place where conservation efforts have long been held up by a lack of regulatory coordination.

The agreement reached Saturday night at the United Nations marks a turning point in efforts to restore order to large swathes of the planet where conservation has already been hampered by muddled laws. Its range should cover nearly half of the planet’s surface.

According to Greenpeace Canada, this agreement represents a huge step to protect the oceans.

“This is the largest conservation effort in history,” Sarah King, director of Greenpeace Canada’s Oceans and Plastics Campaign, said Sunday. It’s a moment everyone should celebrate. »

Because she, the trait sera utilises as a way out for améliorer the gouvernance of the haute mer, as for permettre aux gouvernements mondiaux d’atteindre l’engagement of the Conférence of Nations nations sur la biodiversity of protéger 30% of eaux and des terres de planet.

“Scientists have said that 30% protection is the minimum we need to start restoring marine biodiversity and allow ecosystems to build their resilience against climate change, plastic pollution and all the other threats we and they face,” she said.

“So it’s really important that governments work quickly to create a network of protected areas on the high seas.”

She said it was now up to Canada – and all governments around the world – to ratify and implement the treaty as soon as possible.

Positive feedback from the federal government

“I am very proud of Canada’s contributions throughout the negotiation process and the way we engaged with other nations to gain the support needed to sign this agreement,” said Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard, Joyce Murray. press release.

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“I look forward to working with our international partners to implement this historic agreement with unified approaches to protecting the oceans.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeau also welcomed this new agreement in a joint statement issued alongside Ms.I Murray.

“Our oceans are at the heart of who we are as a country. With the longest coastlines in the world, marine and coastal areas are critical to Canada’s economy and the livelihoods of Canadians across the country,” the ministers said in their statement.

“We will continue to work with our international partners to promote a bluer, cleaner and more sustainable world.”

The culmination of a long process

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea came into force in 1994, before marine biodiversity was a well-established concept. The agreement was reached after two weeks of talks at the UN headquarters in New York.

An updated framework for protecting marine biodiversity in areas beyond national boundary waters has been discussed for more than 20 years, but efforts to reach a new agreement have repeatedly stalled.

The agreement provides for the creation of a new organization responsible for managing the conservation of marine biodiversity and establishing marine protected areas on the high seas.

The treaty also sets the ground rules for conducting environmental impact assessments for commercial activities in the oceans.

Many species—including dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and many fish—make long annual migrations across national borders. Efforts to protect them, and human societies that depend on fishing or marine life tourism, have long proven difficult for international organizations.

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Laura Miller, an activist with Greenpeace Nordic, argued that China and the Coalition for High Ambition – which includes Canada, the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom – were key players in negotiating approval.

“Now begins the hard work of certifying and protecting the oceans,” she said in a statement. We must build on this momentum to eliminate new threats such as deep-sea mining and focus on sandboxing. »

With information from the Associated Press.

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