Our oceans have acted as giant sponges, soaking up approximately a quarter of the carbon dioxide that is released by human activities. The ocean ecosystem also produces half of the oxygen we breathe.
Despite the importance to our environment, it hasn’t been offered much protection.
The high seas, the area of water that sits 200 miles beyond national boundaries, and the marine life that lives there, have traditionally been without enforceable regulations.
That all changed earlier this month when for the first time, after two decades of negotiation, a treaty was reached to protect marine biodiversity. The High Seas Treaty supports the UN goal to protect a third of the earth’s biodiversity (land and sea) by 2030.
As Jessica Battle from WWF summarized:
“What happens on the high seas will no longer be ‘out of sight, out of mind’. We can now look at the cumulative impacts on our ocean in a way that reflects the interconnected blue economy and the ecosystems that support it.”
Learn all about the treaty here.