An historic Global Ocean Treaty has finally been agreed on March 4th, 2023, after years of talks at the United Nations after almost two decades of negotiations. This is a huge moment for conservation and a hopeful sign that in a divided world, protecting nature for the benefit of all people can triumph over geopolitics.
The new Global Ocean Treaty opens the door to the creation of a network of sanctuaries across the globe, areas where fragile ecosystems and marine life can recover and thrive, by keeping the 30×30 target alive: protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. We need healthy oceans, which help combat climate change by locking away carbon, and provide food security and livelihoods to more than 3 billion people, the vast majority of whom are in the Global South.
Key players were civil society. This is a victory for many organisations big and small who worked tirelessly over decades to build an incredible movement of ocean champions. Delegates from governments around the world, who despite a lack of sleep, also worked incredibly hard to get an agreement over the line. Small Island States have shown leadership throughout the process, and the broad G77 group led the way in ensuring the Treaty can be put into practice in a fair and equitable way.
The EU, US and UK, and China were key players in brokering the deal. Countries showed a willingness to compromise in the final days of talks, and built coalitions instead of sowing division. it wouldn’t have been possible without years of relentless people power efforts. 5,540,513 people from around the world signed the petition, building a movement that protects our oceans and the billions who depend on them. This monumental win for ocean protection reminds us that taking action makes a difference and that people power works!
Many many thanks to Greenpeace and all other organisations to have launched and coordinated people efforts!
This victory shows that people efforts work at any level. Now more than ever it’s up to us people to keep our victory alive: stop pollution, stop plastic pollution!
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