Thursday, July 18, 2024

NZ welcomes adoption of new global treaty on ocean biodiversity

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the adoption of a new global treaty to protect and restore high seas biodiversity.

Negotiations were substantively concluded in March after two decades of talks at the UN, and the treaty was formally adopted this morning by a consensus of states.

“The adoption of this treaty is a significant step in our collective effort to safeguard our ocean for future generations,” said Ms Mahuta.

“Our connection to the ocean is a fundamental part of what makes us New Zealanders, as is the seriousness with which we take our kaitiaki [guardianship] responsibilities. This treaty reflects those values on a global scale.”

Nearly two-thirds of the ocean lies outside any country’s national jurisdiction or control. This area contains an exceptional level of biodiversity that is increasingly under pressure from human activity and the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.

The Minister said the new agreement will help to protect biodiversity in the high seas by enabling the international community to establish marine protected areas, and by setting clear procedures for assessing the environmental impacts of activities.

“This agreement also contains innovative provisions to share the benefits of marine genetic resources from the high seas and to build capacity for developing countries to implement the objectives of the agreement,” Minister Mahuta said.

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