UN member states ended fourteen days of negotiations Friday with out a treaty to safeguard biodiversity in the high seas, an agreement that could have addressed growing environmental and economic challenges.
After 15 years, including four prior formal sessions, negotiators have yet to attain a legally binding text to handle the large number of issues facing international watersa zone that encompasses almost half the earth.
“Although we did make excellent progress, we still do require a little bit additional time to advance towards the final line,” said conference chair Rena Lee.
It’ll now depend on the UN General Assembly to resume the fifth session at a romantic date still to be determined.
Many had hoped the 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.
“While it’s disappointing that the treaty wasn’t finalized in the past fourteen days of negotiations, we remain encouraged by the progress that has been made,” said Liz Karan of the NGO Pew Charitable Trusts, calling for a fresh session by the finish of the entire year.
Probably the most sensitive issues in the written text revolved round the sharing of possible profits from the development of genetic resources 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 marine resources that participate in nobody.
Similar issues of equity arise in other international negotiations, such as for example on climate change, where developing nations that feel outsized harm from global warming have tried in vain to obtain wealthier countries to greatly help pay to offset those impacts.
The high seas begin at the border of a nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ)which by international law reaches only 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from its 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 global warming, 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,” US STATE DEPT. official Maxine Burkett said at a youthful press conference.
But delegations still disagree on the procedure for creating these protected areas in addition to how required environmental impact assessments will undoubtedly be implemented before new high seas activity begins.
“Just what a missed opportunity…”, tweeted Klaudija Cremers, a researcher at the IDDRI think tank, which, like multiple other NGOs, includes a seat with observer status at the negotiations.
The delegate from Samoa, addressing the conference with respect to small developing island nations of the Pacific, said these were “disappointed.”
“We live very far in fact it is not cheap to visit all of this way. This money had not been allocated to roads, on medicine, schools,” she added.
“The Pacific came within good faith and can continue to achieve this until we conclude this conference in the forseeable future,” she said on the verge of tears, to applause from the area.
Laura Meller, of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign, said: “Time has go out. Further delay means ocean destruction. We have been sad and disappointed. While countries continue steadily to talk, the oceans and those who use them are affected.”
Citation: UN session on high seas biodiversity ends without agreement (2022, August 27) retrieved 28 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-session-high-seas-biodiversity-agreement.html
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