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UN signs the first "High Seas Treaty" in an effort to safeguard global oceans

On Saturday, a UN pact to protect the high seas was finalised after negotiations involving more than 100 nations. Environmental groups say this long-awaited breakthrough will help stop the loss of marine species and promote sustainable development.

The "30 by 30" goal, set in Montreal in December, calls for 30% of the world's land and ocean to be protected by the end of the decade. The treaty is viewed as an essential part of this effort.

Economic concerns were a key source of contention during the most recent round of negotiations, which got underway on Feb 20. Developing nations demanded a larger portion of the benefits from the "blue economy," including the transfer of technology.

After five rounds of drawn-out discussions overseen by the U.N., that culminated in New York on Saturday.One day beyond the original deadline, a legally binding agreement to protect and secure the sustainable use of ocean biodiversity, which has been under consideration for 15 years, was finally reached.

The deal was welcome as a "historic moment" by the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.At a Ko Losin protected area, a whale shark swims alongside volunteer divers who have just dismantled an abandoned fishing net.Virginijus Sinkevicius, the European commissioner for the environment, oceans, and fisheries, said, "With the agreement on the UN High Seas Treaty, we take a significant step forward to preserve the marine life and biodiversity that are necessary for us and the generations to come.


According to Greenpeace, in order to reach the goal by 2030, 11 million square kilometres (4.2 million square miles) of ocean must be protected annually.

Only a small portion of the high seas is protected, and pollution, acidification, and overfishing present serious threats. According to Laura Miller, the deal needs to be legally adopted and ratified as soon as possible to enter into force and provide a fully protected ocean sanctuary that the world needs. A Greenpeace ocean campaigner who was present at the negotiations.There are still five years remaining, so complacency is not an option.The pact was described as the most significant international environmental deal since the 2015 Paris Agreement on combating climate change by Sweden, which took part in the negotiations as the rotating EU presidency.Said Tobias Billstrom, the foreign minister of Sweden, "delivering such an important agreement at a very hard time." It was a success for the UN and the global systems.

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