Briefing: the Global Ocean Treaty we need for biodiversity and the climate

Greenpeace’s submission to IGC2 ​offers recommendations for improved text on ​Marine Protected Areas


We welcome the ​President’s Aid to Negotiations.​ To make the necessary progress for the adoption of the Global Ocean Treaty We Need by 2020, negotiations during IGC2 must aim at a “zero draft” soon after the conference.

The first UN ​Ocean Assessment​ stressed that, ​“urgent action on a global scale is needed​ to protect the world’s oceans”. ​Overfishing, seabed mining, pollution, coupled with the growing pressure caused by climate change and ocean acidification, are causing more damage to ocean life than ever in human history.1​ ​​With only a fraction of oceans under protection in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ)2​ ​,​ marine animals and areas critical for their survival ​are increasingly under threat; and so are ​natural ocean carbon sinks​ that help the planet mitigate against the impacts of climate change.

To halt biodiversity loss and safeguard natural carbon sinks from further degradation, the ​Treaty must empower governments to collectively ​create global ocean sanctuaries​ – highly protected marine reserves – in consultation with relevant stakeholders 3​ ​. ​Governments must seize the historic opportunity to ​adopt the Global Ocean Treaty ​by 2020; ​by doing so they will strengthen ocean protection for decades to come.

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