THE CHILEAN SENATE voted on 16 January to ratify the UN Ocean Treaty, a historic conservation agreement agreed in 2023. The vote passed unanimously.

Estefanía González, Deputy Campaign Director of Greenpeace Andino, which covers Argentina, Colombia and Chile, said: “Chile has been a key country during all the years of negotiating this treaty. It had a leading role in the progress of the negotiations, under different governments. This is an achievement for the thousands of Chileans who called for the protection of oceans. We congratulate the action of the congress and encourage Chile to take decisive measures to protect the oceans at a global and also local level, where we have enormous challenges.”

Once published in the government’s Official Journal this month, Chile will become the first country of 60 needed to ratify the Treaty by the 2025 UN Ocean Conference. The Treaty must enter in force by this time to keep the globally agreed target of protecting 30 per cent of the oceans by 2030 within reach.

Adopted in June 2023, the UN Ocean Treaty is the most significant multilateral environmental deal since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Although 84 countries signed the treaty in September 2023, it will only enter into force once it is ratified by at least 60 countries.

Chile’s ratification is a positive step forwards in the voyage to ratification, which should push other countries to accelerate their ratification processes.

Dr. Laura Meller, Campaign Lead, Greenpeace Protect the Oceans said: “Chile’s ratification is a crucial step towards protecting the oceans. All governments have agreed to protect 30 per cent of the oceans by 2030. To reach this target, the UN Ocean Treaty must be ratified before the UN Ocean Conference in 2025. We hope more countries will be inspired by Chile’s rapid ratification and follow their lead to bring the Treaty to life, so the real work to protect the oceans can start.”

The High Seas are under increasing threats, which include industrial fishing, pollution and the emerging deep sea mining industry. Once it enters into force, the Treaty will be a crucial tool in creating sanctuaries covering at least 30 per cent of the oceans. This is urgently needed to address the ocean crisis.

* Source: Greenpeace International