Nearly 200 countries signed a treaty on Saturday aimed at protecting marine life in international waters. The High Seas Treaty was signed after two weeks of negotiations at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City.
The treaty will enable the global community to establish protected areas in the oceans and conduct assessments of the damage caused by commercial activities such as deep-sea mining to marine life. The agreement is legally binding and each country that signed the treaty must ratify it.
A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the treaty a “progress” and stated that its signing was the culmination of nearly two decades of work since the UN first discussed ocean protection in 2004.
The treaty covers around two-thirds of the world’s oceans and aims to address the urgent need to protect marine life in international waters. It is considered a significant step towards preserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable use of the world’s oceans for future generations.