Nations come together to scrap the UN Convention on the Protection of the Seas

Nations come together to scrap the UN Convention on the Protection of the Seas

By David Stanway

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Delegations from hundreds of countries will meet in New York this week in an attempt to hammer out a new legally binding ocean protection treaty that green groups believe will decide whether efforts to protect global biodiversity can succeed.

Last August, the previous round of negotiations on a new UN ocean conservation agreement was suspended, with countries unable to reach an agreement on funding. Revenue sharing of “marine genetic resources” and establishing marine environmental impact assessment rules for development were also major sticking points.

Experts familiar with the talks said the major parties have now moved forward together on key issues as fresh talks begin, although compromises are still being sought.

“Now there seems to be an appetite to actually finalize the deal,” said Jessica Battle, an ocean expert at the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

“There are a number of countries that are looking to make some concessions, but at the end of the day what’s really important is that the deal doesn’t get too watered down,” he said, referring to an effort to exclude fishing. The deal has already been defeated.

Li Shuo, global policy adviser at Greenpeace, said the success of the talks, which run until March 3, still “depends on the question of finance”, and that China is poised to be a major player in the talks, especially when it comes to bringing other developing countries on board.

According to Greenpeace, the target of protecting 30% of the world’s land and seas by 2030 would be to protect 11 million square kilometers (4.25 million square miles) of oceans each year by the end of the decade from now – known as “By 30”. 30″ – must be filled.

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it was working hard to achieve “a high-quality agreement that takes into account conservation and sustainable use and can be generally accepted by the international community”.

How to share revenues from ocean industrial development, including the use of marine genetic resources in pharmaceuticals and other industries, will also be an important issue for China, which is already home to six of the 10 largest global companies that operate high-seas fishing fleets. .

“Issues of genetic resources and finance will be the end game,” Greenpeace’s Lee said.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

#Nations #scrap #Convention #Protection #Seas

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