The Pew Charitable Trusts’ project to protect ocean life on the high seas is working to secure the support of governments worldwide for an international agreement that would allow for the establishment of marine protected areas and reserves in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
In June 2012, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, world leaders opened the door to reform by committing to address the conservation and sustainable use of the marine biological diversity of the high seas. This commitment included asking the U.N. General Assembly to make a decision no later than September 2015 on development of a legal framework for creating marine protected areas and reserves on the high seas.
In June 2015, the General Assembly passed a resolution that set out the process for members to negotiate a new treaty. Pew—along with its coalition partners in the High Seas Alliance—will work to educate global leaders about the importance of marine reserves to the long-term health of the ocean and the need for the United Nations to put in place a strong new international agreement.