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Protect The Oceans

From climate change and plastics, to deep sea mining and overfishing -  the threats facing our oceans are growing and becoming more urgent by the…

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New York – Over 190 countries came together at the United Nations to negotiate a historic Global Ocean Treaty  that could help protect at least 30% of our seas by 2030.

As the third round of UN negotiations draws to a close without serious commitment from most countries, Greenpeace NZ oceans campaigner Jessica Desmond, said:

“It is very disappointing to see that the pace and ambition in this meeting hasn’t matched the level of urgency required to save our oceans and protect our planet against the climate emergency and massive biodiversity loss we are facing.

“There were glimmers of hope from the New Zealand delegation, which made some positive and innovative new contributions to the text. But we need to see New Zealand join countries like Belgium and the U.K. in adopting a goal of achieving 30% global oceans protections by 2030, and then align their action in this process to deliver on that.

“The overall lack of political will for a progressive outcome of these negotiations is alarming. Some countries clearly still favor exploitation over protection. Keeping things as they are is not going to save our oceans or, ultimately, humankind. We need to see leadership from New Zealand.

“While we welcomed some positive additions from the NZ delegation – like proposing adding interim and provisional protection measures and greater transparency to the treaty – we need to see New Zealand strengthen its commitment to implementing protection measures through the COP. Instead, they seem prepared to let the fisheries and seabed mining management organisations take control of implementing new ocean protections.

“Now the stakes are even higher for the final stage of the negotiations. In 2020, world leaders need to deliver a Global Ocean Treaty that allows the creation of fully protected ocean sanctuaries in international waters. In order to seize this historic opportunity to safeguard our oceans for future generations, Greenpeace urges heads of states and ministers to commit to a strong Global Ocean Treaty – so that delegates in the negotiating room have a clear mandate to advocate progress instead of just managing defeat. The solution is right in front of us, now all we are missing is the political will to give a chance to our oceans and to the people who rely on it to survive,” said Desmond.