New York, 22 February 2023 (TDI): The Minister of Climate and the Environment of Sweden, Romina Pourmokhtari, participated in the meeting protecting biodiversity & high seas around the world. The meeting was convened to negotiate meaningful protection of ocean life.

The resumed 5th session of the Intergovernmental Conference for Drafting First-Ever Maritime Biodiversity Treaty was held at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.

Delegates from around the world participated in it. They met for an opening plenary followed by two formal and informal consultations.

Notably, the much-awaited United Nations Biodiversity and High Seas Treaty had already gone through several rounds of negotiations to reach a universal and effective agreement.

The agenda of the treaty is the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Highlights of the meeting

Sweden’s Minister and other delegates expressed their commitment to working toward a consensus-based treaty. They emphasized that a successful outcome would benefit all humanity irrespective of where on the planet ocean they live.

The meeting highlighted that only about 1 percent of the high sea is protected. Marine life outside this percentage is under severe threat of deterioration.

Also read:Β Sweden provides aid to earthquake-hit Turkiye

The threats emanate from unsustainable and unlawful fishing, excessive noise pollution, plastic and chemical leftovers, acidification, and deep-sea mining.

The conference pointed out the lack of government efforts and strictly binding laws for unprotected oceans and the exploitation of oceanic life. The unregular activities by unchecked business sectors add to the woeful condition of oceans.

The treaty is in its concluding phase after going through multiple rounds of dialogue for several years. Once ratified it will be legally binding for all members.

It is pertinent to note that the treaty will be the first legal systematic scheme to work for marine protected areas (MPAs), & environmental impact assessments (EIAs). It embraces all vital conservation considerations for the world ocean, weaving all humanity as a single unit.