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An important agreement has been reached to protect international waters in the pre-world

An important agreement has been reached to protect international waters in the pre-world

The final text of the convention aimed at preserving the biodiversity of international waters was completed in March and formally adopted by the United Nations in June. The agreement assigns a major role in protecting 30 percent of the land and sea area by 2030 (“30-30”).

Signatory countries include the United States, Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway, Fiji and the European Union.

International waters begin where each country’s exclusive economic zone ends, up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coast, over which no country has jurisdiction. Although this region makes up nearly half of the Earth’s surface and more than 60% of the oceans, it has long been neglected in the struggle to protect the environment.

Currently, only one percent of international waters are protected.

For the Convention to enter into force, it is also necessary for the parliaments of the signatory countries to ratify the document. The Convention enters into force 120 days after its 60th ratification.

American actress Sigourney Weaver said: “It is unbelievable that I am here and I see so much hope and determination to change the way we think about the ocean, to change it from a big garbage can that everyone uses to a place that we protect and respect.” Agence France-Presse, one of the first countries to sign during the meeting’s break, reported that the meeting was held on the sidelines of the high-level session of the United Nations General Assembly currently being held.

By signing the International Waters Convention, we can protect the ocean from human-caused pressures, and we can move closer to our goal of protecting at least 30 percent of our planet by 2030, said Virginius Sinkevicius, Environment Commissioner at the European Commission. He called the agreement the “Ocean Constitution.”

The agreement specifies protected areas in which fishing is prohibited and requires the preparation of impact studies on the environmental impacts of human activities in international waters.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that $500 million (181 billion forints) will be needed to start the agreement, and implementing the special objectives and creating the necessary conditions will cost an additional $100 million. every year.

Threats to the ocean environment have increased from overfishing and rising temperatures, and new threats may emerge from seabed mining and geoengineering techniques deployed to increase the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

According to environmental organizations, it must be fully implemented by 2025 at the latest in order to achieve “30-30” protection.

Cover image source: Getty Images

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