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You are here News Environment Time running out to protect world’s oceans, conservationists say as UN treaty talks stall

Time running out to protect world’s oceans, conservationists say as UN treaty talks stall

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A fifth round of negotiations for a UN ocean treaty to protect and manage the high seas failed to reach an agreement on Friday in New York.

The treaty has been described as “the most significant ocean protection agreement for four decades”.

It seeks to protect 30% of the world’s oceans – 11m sq km – by 2030, and would provide a legally binding mechanism for safeguarding the high seas – areas that lie beyond national jurisdictions more than 200 nautical miles from shore.

A group of more than 50 countries known as the High Ambition Coalition committed last year to protect 30% of the planet’s land and sea by 2030. But without an agreement, these pledges have no legal basis in the high seas, which cover almost half of the earth’s surface and account for two-thirds of the global ocean.

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