The Global Oceans Commission has a Petition addressed to the UN

The Global Ocean Commission is seeking protection under law via the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOSUNCLOS The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty.) for greater protection of the planet’s high seas (the area of the oceans’ beyond supervision by individual countries).

The United Nations is due to commence at the end of the September a review of the law (UNCLOS) as it applies to the high seas, and so the Global Ocean Commission is addressing a Petition to the UN Secretary General. To sign the Petition, click here.

The text of the Petition reads:

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
Dear Secretary-General,

I know that you are personally committed to ocean health and protection.

I do not need to remind you that the ocean supplies the oxygen in every second breath we take, or that billions of us rely on it for food, fresh water, energy, transport and medicine, or that it covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and supports all life on Earth.

And as valuable resources such as medicines will increasingly come from the deep sea in the future, I am sure you agree we must ensure marine resources are protected and managed responsibly and fairly, and that we all benefit, including future generations.

Three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. Marine and coastal resources are worth US$3 trillion a year — around 5% of the world’s GDP — and worldwide, 350 million jobs are linked to the ocean while 97% of fishers live in developing countries.

Scientists are telling us that we are pushing our ocean system to the point of collapse, and without proper governance, we are putting food security, global prosperity, and our own health and livelihoods at risk.

I understand that the UN General Assembly is to take a decision on whether to negotiate a new agreement on high seas protection at its session starting on 24th September, 2014.

I support the many States that have already called for the adoption of an implementing agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that supports the restoration of ocean productivity, guards against irresponsible exploitation, prioritises ocean health, enhances equitable sharing of benefits, and allows for the creation of marine protected areas on the high seas to replenish fish stocks.

In your opening address to world leaders at the General Assembly in September, please add my voice to those of millions of others who want to empower you and the members of the United Nations to open negotiations for the sustainable use and conservation of the high seas.

It’s time we took proper care of our ocean. Please call for a new agreement for high seas protection and ocean health.


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