Help Protect Our One World Ocean

Last year, the world’s nations agreed to protect and conserve a huge part of our blue planet when they agreed to a High Seas Treaty. To have it enter into force as quickly as possible, governments around the world now need to sign and ratify the Treaty.

Our Ocean 

Within our world ocean that covers 71% of the planet, the High Seas – also known as “Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction” – is a vast area that covers nearly half the planet’s surface. This area includes the ocean waters and seafloor beyond 200 nautical miles from shore (within 200nm, countries have “Exclusive Economic Zones” that they manage).

Regarded for far too long as “out of sight and out of mind”, this vast and largely unmanaged area and its huge diversity of life are largely unprotected and vulnerable to exploitation. This part of our world ocean is home to deep sea corals, whales, fishes, and a huge variety of other wildlife that have been exploited as a “limitless” resource for far too long. Major threats include climate change (the ocean has absorbed 90% of the world’s excess heat) and rampant overfishing (at least one-third of the world’s assessed fisheries are pushed beyond their biological limits), as well as the relatively new threat of deep sea mining; shipping traffic; plastics, chemical and other pollution.

Considering that the ocean regulates the climate, produces approximately half of all the oxygen we breathe, and that fish from the ocean are a major source of protein for billions of people, it’s high time to take responsibility for protecting and properly managing the High Seas. Quite simply, we need a healthy ocean to survive and thrive.

A Huge Breakthrough to Build On

After a long journey over multiple decades – and thanks to the High Seas Alliance, numerous other organizations, and key individuals’ efforts – in 2023, nations of the world agreed to protect the High Seas and its incredible biodiversity. The High Seas Treaty – also known as the BBNJ (Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) Treaty – will be a legally binding agreement for conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity once ratified by 60+ countries.

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated, the Treaty will be “crucial for addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.” And as Kristina Gjerde, Senior High Seas Advisor to the IUCN for more than 20 years, stated, “It’s an important moment for the ocean and humankind! The UN BBNJ Agreement gives new hope for multilateral solutions to global problems that no one nation can solve alone.”

Once more than 60 nations ratify the treaty, we can celebrate a big step forward in protecting our world ocean.

Among many Treaty benefits, once it’s ratified, countries will be able to work together to create marine protected areas in the High Seas; The Treaty sets out a new governance framework and clear process on how to establish MPAs; indeed, with the Treaty, the world’s nations agreed to designate 30% of the world’s international waters as protected areas by 2030.  It’s an ambitious but attainable goal if we all work together to have our nations ratify the Treaty!

The Treaty also gives nations around the world – including developing coastal and landlocked countries – a greater say in the Treaty by making fair rules for sharing the benefits of new scientific discoveries in the High Seas; that includes assisting developing countries with research funding and the transfer of technology.

For more about the High Seas Treaty check out this post.

Ask Your National Leaders to Ratify the High Seas Treaty Now!  

You can make a significant impact in as little as two minutes.

  • Check out this Action Page for more guidance.
  • Please forward this information to your friends and colleagues, in your country and around the world.


Together, we can get our leaders to ratify the High Seas Treaty. By doing so, the Treaty will enter into force as soon as possible and we can start to more fully protect and restore our one world ocean!