Global Voices Seek to Protect and Conserve Abundant Life in International Waters

Perspectives on why world leaders need to secure a strong high seas treaty in 2022

Global Voices Seek to Protect Life in International Waters
Flags fly outside the General Secretariat Building at the United Nations Headquarters.
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Making up roughly two-thirds of the ocean and covering nearly half of the planet’s surface, the high seas support abundant fisheries, serve as migratory routes for whales and sharks, and harbor remarkable ecosystems such as deep-water corals and other majestic marine life.

Because the ocean is an interconnected system, harmful activities on the high seas can also have a negative impact on domestic conservation efforts and livelihoods. According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, effective and equitable conservation of at least 30% of the global ocean can help to safeguard the resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services at a global scale.

The high seas, which are beyond the borders of any nation, represent about two-thirds of the world’s ocean, but only about 1% of these waters are protected. International waters belong to everyone, yet there currently is no comprehensive legal mechanism in place to protect the high seas and the marine life that makes its home there.

Governments must take bold and urgent action toward the successful conclusion this year of negotiations at the United Nations on a high seas treaty. The articles below share the perspectives of a wide range of global voices—from youth leaders to influential government decision-makers—and make the case for an ambitious agreement that will allow for the establishment of marine protected areas on the high seas.

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Turn the Tide: Protect the High Seas

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地平线之外,距离海岸超过 200 海里的海域称为公海。这些水域不受任何国家管辖,约占海洋的三分之二, 覆盖了地球表面的近一半。这些水域还有很多地方有待探索,但是科学家们知道,它们充满生命,是海洋生 物多样性最大的储存库之一。公海支持着丰富的渔业;为鲸鱼、鲨鱼、海龟和海鸟提供栖息地和迁徙路线; 并且孕育着非凡的生态系统,如深海珊瑚和其他庞大的海洋生物。