Responding to the news that the UK Government has backed the call for the protection of 30% of the oceans by 2030, Louisa Casson, ocean campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:
“Our oceans are in a perilous state, facing the threats of plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change, so it’s fantastic to see the UK Government make a genuinely world-leading commitment to protect our oceans. They’ve listened to the scientists and environmental campaigners who have been calling for at least a third of the oceans to be strongly protected by 2030, in order to ensure wildlife flourishes and help tackle climate change.
“To protect a third of the oceans over the next decade or so, the UK must push for a strong Global Ocean Treaty with real teeth to emerge from ongoing UN negotiations over the next two years. That would allow for the creation of a network of ocean sanctuaries outside of national borders: areas which are safeguarded from human exploitation. Even before that comes into force, the Government has a crucial role to play in driving up the ambition of all states responsible for the Antarctic Ocean next month. On the table is the opportunity to create the largest protected area on the planet: an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, which is backed by 2 million people globally and would be five times the size of Germany.
“It’s great that through this commitment the Government is showing the kind of vision that is needed internationally if we’re to safeguard our oceans. To deliver this vision: our global oceans need a global treaty. Our oceans sustain all life on Earth and a network of ocean sanctuaries can breathe life back into them.”
Notes to editors
The UN has just concluded its first round of negotiations towards a treaty covering oceans outside of national borders. There will be three further negotiation sessions, concluding as early as Spring 2020 with a Global Ocean Treaty. For further information, see here.
Scientists and the IUCN have called for the protection of at least 30% of the oceans by 2030.
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