Greenpeace is calling on the New Zealand government to keep pushing for a Global Ocean Treaty as international negotiations falter at the last minute.
Despite making good headway, United Nations member states failed to come to a consensus late last week as the fifth, and latest round of negotiations for a global treaty to govern the high seas wrapped in New York.
With the talks suspended, world leaders will need to call an emergency meeting to reconvene and finalise a Treaty, which if done right would deliver ocean sanctuaries that can protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
“We can restore the oceans so that they are thriving again for generations to come, but we need urgent action to protect them from destructive industrial practices such as bottom trawling and seabed mining”, says Greenpeace Aotearoa oceans campaigner Ellie Hooper.
“Encouraging progress was made during this latest round of negotiations and we urge world leaders to stay the course. Member states must put people and the planet before profit and back a strong Treaty.
“We applaud the efforts of the New Zealand delegation at the negotiations and now call on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta to keep using their influence to persuade world leaders to keep the talks alive and finalise this vital agreement.
“Our fate is linked to the fate of the ocean. A strong Global Ocean Treaty would lay the groundwork for 30% of the world’s oceans being placed in protected sanctuaries by 2030. Scientists tell us this is the bare minimum needed to help halt global warming and protect ocean health. Time is of the essence. To achieve this it is vital that leaders commit to holding an emergency session before the end of the year.
“While it is frustrating that talks stalled at the last minute we believe progress has been made and world leaders, including those in Aotearoa must continue to back a strong Treaty,” says Hooper.
Without a Special Emergency Session to conclude Global Ocean Treaty negotiations before the end of 2022, it will be challenging to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. The 30×30 target is what scientists say is the minimum needed to give the oceans space to recover.