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UN high-seas biodiversity treaty struggles to leave port

Many had hoped that the fifth session of negotiations on a marine biodiversity treaty for international waters, which began on A
Many had hoped that the fifth session of negotiations on a marine biodiversity treaty for international waters, which began on August 15, 2022 at the US headquarters in NY, could have been the final.

A two-week negotiating session on a treaty to safeguard the high seas wraps up Friday, but UN observers were holding their breath with many points remaining contentious between member states.

After 15 years, including four prior formal sessions, negotiators have yet to attain a legally binding agreement to handle the growing environmental and relating to the , also referred to as a zone which encompasses almost half the earth.

Many had hoped that fifth session, which began on August 15 at the US headquarters in NY, will be the last and yield your final text on “the conservation and sustainable usage of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction,” or BBNJ for short.

But a fresh version of the treatydistributed to delegates on Friday morning just hours prior to the official end of negotiations, and seen by AFPstill included many paragraphs available to negotiations.

A gathering scheduled for noon (1600 GMT) was canceled to permit consultations to keep, which observers suggest could come across Saturday.

Probably the most sensitive issues revolves round the sharing of possible profits gained from developing in international waters, where pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetic companies desire to find miracle drugs, products or cures.

Such costly research at sea is basically the prerogative of rich nations, but developing countries usually do not wish to be overlooked of potential windfall profits drawn from that participate in no-one.

The brand new draft text appears to still side with the developing nations, with a requirement that two percent of most future sales be redistributed, eventually rising to eight percent.

Greenpeace’s Will McCallum accuses the EU, USA and Canada of rejecting the proposal.

“It isn’t even real cash. It’s just hypothetical money 1 day. This is why it really is frustrating,” he told AFP.

The EU pushed back on that characterization, with one European negotiator telling AFP: “We have been willing to donate to the BBNJ agreement through various funding sources, which inside our view shall add a fair sharing of advantages from marine genetic resources globally.”

Similar issues of equity between your Global North and South arise in other international negotiations, such as for example on climate change, where feel outsized harms from global warming and try in vain to obtain wealthier nations to greatly help pay to offset those impacts.

‘Too near fail’

Some are hopeful for an agreement.

“This is actually the final stage and delegates will work hard to come quickly to an agreement,” said Liz Karan with the NGO Pew Charitable Trusts.

Jihyun Lee, a youth ambassador with conservation group the High Seas Alliance, said: “We’re too near fail.”

The high seas begin at the border of nations’ exclusive economic zones (EEZs)which by international law reach only 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from each country’s coastand are under no state’s jurisdiction.

60 % of the world’s oceans are categorized as this category.

Even though healthy marine ecosystems are necessary to the continuing future of humanity, particularly to limit , only 1 percent of international waters are protected.

Among the key pillars of an eventual BBNJ treaty would be to permit the creation of marine protected areas, which many nations hope covers 30 percent of the Earth’s ocean by 2030.

“Without establishing protections in this vast area, we shall not have the ability to meet our ambitious and necessary 30 by 30 goal,” said US STATE DEPT. official Maxine Burkett at a press conference.

But delegations still disagree on the procedure for creating these protected areas, in addition to on how best to implement a requirement of environmental impact assessments before new activity on the high seas.

“I believe they will have made lots of progress within the last fourteen days on conditions that were very controversial,” said Klaudija Cremers, a researcher at the IDDRI think tank, which like multiple other NGOs includes a seat with observer status at the negotiations.

She told AFP that the ultimate talks Friday “may be the push to obtain an agreement.”

2022 AFP

Citation: UN high-seas biodiversity treaty struggles to leave port (2022, August 26) retrieved 27 August 2022 from

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