An historic achievement: Treaty of the High Seas is adopted

On 24th May 2023, the Treaty of the High Seas was adopted by consensus and standing ovation during the United Nations meeting in New York. This Treaty will be key to protect the ocean, promote equity and fairness, tackle environmental degradation, fight climate change, and prevent biodiversity loss in the high seas.

The Treaty will enter into force when 60 parties ratify it. The European Union has committed to support the Treaty’s ratification and early implementation through the EU Global Ocean Programme of 40 million euros and has invited members of the High Ambition Coalition to do the same within their capabilities.

What the Treaty will bring – in a nutshell

  • The BBNJ Treaty sets up a procedure to establish large-scale marine protected areas in the high seas. This facilitates the achievement of the target to effectively conserve and manage 30% of land and sea by 2030.
  • It establishes the sharing of benefits from marine genetic resources and foresees capacity building and the transfer of marine technology between the parties.

It contains clear rules to conduct environmental impact assessments, with the right checks and balances, before running activities in the high seas.