‘A historic day’: What’s in store for long-awaited UN high seas deal?

The high seas begin where states’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ) end, at a maximum distance of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coast, and are therefore not under the jurisdiction of any state. It represents more than 60% of the oceans and almost half of the planet. Advances in science demonstrate the importance of fully protecting these oceans, which are often teeming with microscopic biodiversity.

The new agreement – when it comes into force – should make possible the creation of marine protected areas in these international waters. That is, areas where natural resources are fully or partially protected.

Within an “MPA”, certain activities are limited or prohibited to meet specific habitat protection and conservation objectives. This can particularly translate into sustainable navigation, nature-related scientific research, sustainable marine tourism or unhindered fishing.

An essential role.

Only 1% of the high seas are subject to conservation measures, and if we hope to protect 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030, this identification tool is considered essential, a commitment by all governments on the planet. In December.

High marine protected areas play an important role in building resilience to the effects of climate change“, said AFP Liz Karan of the NGO Pew Foundation, who described the deal “Capital achievement“.

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