SYDNEY, 24 JUNE 2024 — Greenpeace Australia Pacific has welcomed the Labor government’s first steps towards ratifying the Global Ocean Treaty by tabling the treaty in Parliament, but says a formal ratification and the championing of large new marine protected areas in the high seas must follow quickly.

Agreed in June 2023, the UN Ocean Treaty is the most significant multilateral environmental deal since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and a vital tool to help reverse the ocean crisis. Australia is a signatory to the Treaty but needs to follow a parliamentary ratification process to formally consent to the new international law. Ratification from 60 nations is required for the treaty to come into force in mid 2025. 

This afternoon, the government tabled the treaty in parliament. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties must now consider a national interest report, public submissions due by the 15th of July, and table their own report in Parliament. Legislation will then likely be required to implement the treaty.

Glenn Walker, Head of Nature at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, congratulated the government on the start of the process to ratify the treaty, and said it’s now time to dive in.

“Labor has dipped its toe into bringing the Global Oceans Treaty to life, now it must take the plunge quickly by legally ratifying its promised global ambition as soon as possible.

“Once this is in place, Australia needs to be a global champion for large new marine protected areas in the high seas, including as a priority, in the incredibly diverse and unique waters between Australia and New Zealand.”

The Treaty must enter in force by 2025 to keep the globally agreed target of protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030 within reach.

It comes hours before world governments are due to meet in New York to work on the UN Ocean Treaty for the first time. The meeting will focus on bringing the Treaty to life at sea, ahead of its entry into force.

The High Seas are home to millions of species and ecosystems, but less than 1% are fully protected. They are under increasing pressure from a range of threats, including industrial fishing, pollution and the emerging deep sea mining industry. To protect 30% of the oceans by 2030, we must protect more than 11 million km² of ocean every year. 



Images for media use can be found here

Greenpeace’s report: 30×30 From Global Ocean Treaty to Protection at Sea can be found here

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Kimberley Bernard on 0407 581 404 or [email protected]