UN Ocean Treaty negotiations – Greenpeace response

Some governments are lacking in vision and ambition to safeguard wildlife, tackle climate change and ensure food security for billions of people


New York, 17 September 2018 – As the first round of UN negotiations towards a historic UN Ocean Treaty draws to a close, Dr Sandra Schoettner of Greenpeace’s global ocean sanctuaries campaign, said:

“Oceans beyond national borders cover almost half of our planet and belong to us all. For the first time in history, this shared responsibility could be enshrined in law with a Global Ocean Treaty. Over the past two weeks of these negotiations it’s been fantastic to see many countries from Africa, Pacific and Caribbean islands, Latin America and Europe eager to get going with drafting the text of the treaty. They know just how acute the threats facing our oceans are and how fast they need to move to get an agreement from states by the deadline of 2020.

“But some governments are lacking in vision and ambition, like Norway, Russia, and Iceland, and it’s disappointing to see the US, Australia and New Zealand being sluggish. Our oceans are in crisis and simply can’t wait while countries drag their feet.

“To safeguard wildlife, tackle climate change and ensure food security for billions of people, we need to protect at least 30% of our oceans by 2030. To achieve that, we need to see a Global Ocean Treaty which has real teeth and allows us to create a network of ocean sanctuaries around the world. The future of our oceans depends on this treaty.”



For further information, interviews, and comments, contact:

Luke Massey, Communications Lead – Global Ocean Treaty, luke.massey@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7973 873 155

​Greenpeace International Press Desk: pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

Photo and video:

For a collection of ocean photography for free use, see:


N.B. Not all of these images are from the high seas; for illustration purposes only.


  • Dr Sandra Schoettner, Greenpeace Germany, marine biologist of Greenpeace’s global ocean sanctuaries campaign (Languages: German, English)
  • Dr Veronica Frank, Greenpeace International, political advisor, (Languages: Italian, English)
  • Louisa Casson, Greenpeace United Kingdom, oceans campaigner (Languages: French, English)

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