The high seas are the world’s last conservation frontier. They comprise over 40% of the Earth’s surface, yet have remained largely unprotected. The United Nations is trying to change that. It has initiated a process to develop the first comprehensive, internationally binding treaty to protect the biodiversity and sustainability of the world’s oceans. In the journal Nature, four experts discuss what it will take to make such a treaty effective. The article provides solid background on the ongoing, high-stakes negotiations, which are expected to conclude sometime after 2020.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why previous attempts at marine conservation have not gone far enough;
- How the international community seeks to protect the biodiversity of the world’s oceans; and
- What the elements of an effective marine protection treaty are.
About the Authors
Glen Wright, Julien Rochette, Kristina M. Gjerde and Lisa A. Levin are scientists affiliated with the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris, the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Gland, Switzerland, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.