THE HISTORIC United Nations (UN) Ocean Treaty was formally adopted in New York 0n 19 June, following agreeement of the text in March 2023. Since then, the text has undergone months of legal alteration and translation into all of the official UN languages. Governments can now proceed to signing and ratifying the treaty to start protecting the oceans.

The Treaty is a powerful legal tool which can be used to deliver 30×30 – the target agreed by all governments under the Convention on Biological Diversity in late 2022. It allows for the creation of vast ocean sanctuaries, free from destructive human activities on the high seas. However, first it must be ratified by at least 60 governments so it can enter into force and become a legally binding instrument.

Chris Thorne of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign said: “This Treaty is a win for all life on this planet. Now those same governments which agreed it must urgently ratify and begin delivering vast ocean sanctuaries on the high seas. The science is clear, we must protect at least 30 per cent of the oceans by 2030 to give the oceans a chance to recover and thrive.

“2030 looms large on the horizon, and the scale of our task is vast. Less than one per cent of the high seas are protected. Millions of people from all over the world have demanded change and together we have achieved this historic agreement, but we still have a long way to go.

“We are committed to achieving 30×30. We will work day and night to ensure this Treaty is ratified in 2025, and ocean sanctuaries free from destructive human activities covering 30 per cent of the oceans become a reality by the end of this decade.”

To make 30×30 a reality, governments must ensure the Treaty is ratified by the UN Ocean Conference in 2025.

* Source: Greenpeace International