Why the U.N. Pact on High Seas Biodiversity Is Too Important to Fail

Why the U.N. Pact on High Seas Biodiversity Is Too Important to Fail
Researchers from the University of Haifa look for sharks in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Hadera, Israel, Jan. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Ariel Schalit).

Quietly but steadily, the most important environmental treaty that most people have never heard of is taking shape. Late last month, a United Nations committee released the draft text of a new, legally binding international convention to protect the “marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.” The so-called BBNJ treaty will promote the “conservation and sustainable use” of marine resources and living organisms in the high seas, an expanse encompassing 50 percent of the planet’s surface and all the water below. The high seas are the quintessential global commons. Lying beyond any nation’s exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, which extends […]

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