Our fight for safe, healthy oceans continues #IGC5
25 August 2022
The fate of our oceans is being decided this month at the United Nations. Countries are meeting to finalise a new Global Ocean Treaty. A strong Treaty will make it possible to create vast ocean sanctuaries on the high seas. This is a vital step on the road to 30x30, 30% of the oceans protected by 2030.
Over the past two years we have heard many bold statements from Ministers and Heads of State, including at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June, and at many other similar international conferences, that described the urgency of the situation and promised to conclude negotiations for a Global Ocean Treaty as a matter of urgency this year. Despite this, it is clear that delegations are not feeling the urgency and they are not doing anything differently to the previous four rounds of negotiations.
For example, on the first day nearly an hour of precious negotiating time was given over to discussions on the definition of areas beyond national jurisdiction – a debate that was concluded nearly twenty years ago at the outset of this process. On the second day the very well established definition of a Marine Protected Area as primarily a conservation tool was thrown into question by several delegations. These back to first principles discussions are entirely unbefitting what is publicly acknowledged as the final round of negotiations.
We need those chairing negotiations to drive forward proceedings with a greater intensity, continuing later into the evenings, being flexible with the agenda, accepting new proposals that attempt to find ‘a third way’ and pushing delegations to find common ground. One specific area that requires urgent attention is that of benefit sharing on marine genetic resources. It is crucial that delegations such as the EU, US, UK show real understanding to the needs of G77. Right now an agreement to protect half the planet is being jeopardized in order to protect hypothetical future corporate interests.
Politicians act like there’s endless time to negotiate a Global Ocean Treaty, but in reality marine life is too close to the brink of collapse. We can’t afford for the UN to fail us all at #IGC5 so we brought witnesses to ocean destruction from around the world to their front door.
Projection at Empire State and New York Public Library
Javier Bardem, Jane Fonda, other celebrities plea for ocean protection
Greenpeace USA activists project messages calling for ocean protection
The Seoul team held an Ocean Drone Non Voilent Direct Action
Aotearoa on the radio