Editor’s note: The content on this page was published before June 2023, when the United Nations adopted a legally binding treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, sometimes referred to as the high seas treaty.
The United Nations’ anticipated adoption of a new treaty this year that will establish a legal mechanism to protect ocean life on the vast high seas and areas beyond any single country’s control could herald a new chapter in international cooperation on ocean governance. Currently, only about 1% of the high seas are protected from the variety of threats to the global marine environment.
To ensure effective and equitable implementation of high seas conservation and sustainable use, the new U.N. treaty must include provisions for capacity building and the transfer of marine technology—which includes financial, technological, and scientific support—to less developed nations.
That is among the conclusions of a new report that examines what it will take for the governments of the Caribbean community to effectively participate in and equitably benefit from the high seas treaty. Specifically, the authors—a team of international policy experts and science researchers—find that the agreement must support assessments of countries’ needs and priorities to better understand gaps in capacity and to ensure that governments have open access to data and technology, adequate and reliable sources of funding, and mechanisms to facilitate partnership and cooperation.
The Pew Charitable Trusts provided funding for this project, but Pew is not responsible for errors in this paper and does not necessarily endorse its findings or conclusions.