UN member states reach agreement on high seas and resource protection treaty

Member States agree at the UN on a treaty to protect the high seas and its resources

Fifteen years of negotiations have finally resulted in the creation of an international treaty for the protection of the high seas. The agreement will allow for the creation of marine protected areas in the maritime zones beyond 370 km from any country’s coast. This surface, covering half of the terrestrial globe, has been largely ignored in environmental discussions despite its importance in absorbing carbon emissions and providing half of the oxygen we breathe. The treaty will ensure the protection of underwater life and biodiversity while also addressing growing desires for the resources that the high seas contain. Once ratified by enough states, the agreement will be formally adopted at a later date after being vetted and translated into the six official UN languages.

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