Watch: At least 30% of the oceans must be protected by 2030

According to Greenpeace, world leaders adopting the High Seas Treaty earlier this year was a major advancement, but the Treaty’s adoption does not mean that the work is done.

In particular, Greenpeace has published its 30×30: From Global Ocean Treaty to Protection at Sea report where it details how ocean warming, acidification, pollution and the emerging threat of deep sea mining are placing ever more strain on ocean ecosystems, making clear the urgency of political action to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

The High Seas Treaty 

On 19th June 2023, the United Nations adopted the new oceans treaty on sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

According to IMO, the BBNJ treaty addresses, among other things:

  • the conservation and sustainable use of marine BBNJ.
  • marine genetic resources, including questions on benefit-sharing (MGR).
  • Area Based Management Tools (ABMT), including marine protected areas.
  • environmental impact assessments (EIA).
  • capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology (CB&TMT).

The High Seas Treaty intends to safeguard 30% of the seas by 2030, up from the present 1.2%. The deal will become effective after 60 countries have ratified it.

The report also notes that ocean temperature levels have broken records in 2023. Heating coupled with acidification and deoxygenation is changing the chemistry of the oceans. This has vast and wide-reaching impacts on ocean ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as disrupting the vital role oceans play in regulating this planet’s temperature and climate.

Greenpeace reminds that on 20 September, the Treaty will open for signatures at the UN General Assembly. By adding their names, world leaders will show their support for protecting the world’s oceans – however until they make the Treaty into law, these signatures are just words on paper, Greenpeace noted.

As a result, Greenpeace calls to action, telling people to raise awareness on the subject as well as sign this petition to show politicians that they must act urgently to protect oceans.