Published on: June 21, 2023
High Seas Treaty
Why in news? The United Nations adopted the first-ever legally binding international treaty governing the high seas.
- It is also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty, or BBNJ, but widely referred to as the High Seas Treaty
- The measure approved by the 193 U.N. member states
- It aimed at protecting the environment and heading off disputes over natural resources, shipping and other matters in waters beyond any country’s national jurisdiction.
What are the high sea ?
- The high seas are defined as the waters that are 200 nautical miles from any national jurisdiction; they are international open waters that all countries can use for marine business such as shipping, fishing, and marine research.
What’s the point of a High Seas Treaty?
- To reach universally agreed to the Global Biodiversity Framework’s target of protecting 30% of the planet’s land and sea by 2030
- Roughly two thirds of the Earth’s oceans lie beyond national boundaries in an area known as the ‘high seas’, yet only about 1% of that largely unexplored expanse has been protected.
- The only treaty that came close previously was the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force three decades ago.
What’s in the treaty?
- The treaty establishes a framework for “Marine Protected Areas” beyond the ones already within national territorial waters to counter biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystems of the ocean
- The treaty creates a Conference of Parties (COP) to monitor and enforce compliance with the treaty’s terms, that include a scientific advisory board.