Jane Fonda delivers 5.5 million signatures calling for a Global Ocean Treaty

by Tanya Brooks

February 21, 2023

It is at our own peril to delay any further. I urge you as a mother, a grandmother, and a citizen of this world.

Jane Fonda delivers petition

© Stephanie Keith / Greenpeace

New York (February 21, 2023)-As the fifth, and hopefully last, round of UN Ocean Treaty negotiations resumed, Jane Fonda delivered  5.5 million signatures from 157 countries calling for a strong Global Ocean Treaty to the president of the negotiations Rena Lee. Without a strong treaty being agreed upon at this round of talks, it will be practically impossible to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 (known as the 30×30 target). This is the minimum scientists say is necessary to allow the oceans to recover from decades of pollution, overfishing, and other industrial activities. 

Visuals are available here.

There are high expectations that these talks will be the final round of UN Ocean Treaty negotiations after the last round of talks collapsed at the last minute. Fonda was joined in delivering the petition by Anta Diouf, a community leader in Senegal  who represents fisherwomen and processors from the region. The event was  coordinated by Only One and the Greenpeace global network. 

Jane Fonda, an actor and activist, said:

“We need a Global Ocean Treaty and we need it now. It is at our own peril to delay any further. I urge you as a mother, a grandmother, and a citizen of this world – let’s set aside the politics, the special interests, and the inertia that tends to drag big, bold ideas into the ground, and let’s get this done – for every life on Earth.”

Anta Diouf, a coastal community leader in Senegal, said:

We female fish processors and the fishing communities we belong to are facing real challenges because of fish resource scarcity. Fishermen who supply fish to us risk their lives at sea as a result of such scarcity. The ocean is a world heritage when it is protected. We are therefore calling on world leaders present in New York for the resumed fifth round of negotiations on a Global Ocean Treaty, including our local authorities, to conclude this treaty for the sake of protecting our oceans, lives and jobs.

Arlo Hemphill, Greenpeace USA’s Senior Oceans Campaigner, said: “This is a watershed moment for ocean protection and the future of our planet. The leaders gathered here can be bold and put us on a path to recovery and conservation, or they can continue on the path of wanton and reckless exploitation that has led to the biodiversity and climate crises we now face.  Millions of people around the world rely on healthy oceans for their livelihoods and sustenance, and over 5.5 million of them have voiced their support for an Ocean Treaty. As a member of the high-ambition coalition, we expect the Biden administration to show real leadership to make sure that a strong treaty is finally signed at this round of talks.”  

The last round of negotiations failed in 2022 because countries from the Global North, including the United States, offered too little, too late, on financing and benefit sharing from Marine Genetic Resources. It is vital that at this new round of negotiations, the Global North countries make a timely and credible offer to the Global South that can get a treaty over the finish line.

A UN Ocean Treaty is of fundamental importance to delivering the 30×30 target at sea. All governments agreed to the 30×30 target as part of the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December 2022. Without a treaty, there is no legal route to protecting large areas of international waters in Marine Protected Areas.

The oceans, which cover 70% of the planet, are the earth’s largest ecosystem and a key ally in the fight against climate change. They face multiple threats from plastic pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and a nascent deep sea mining industry. Currently, less than 5% of the oceans are protected.


Contact: Tanya Brooks, Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA
(+1) 703-342-9226, [email protected]  

Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/usa 

Tanya Brooks

By Tanya Brooks

Tanya Brooks is a Senior Strategic Communications Specialist with Greenpeace USA. She supports the oceans, plastics, deep sea mining, and fisheries campaigns.

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