Author: Thalif Dean
– At a political level, when the United Nations speaks of a “high seas alliance”, it is probably a coalition of countries battling modern piracy in the Indian Ocean.
But at the environmental level, the High Seas Alliance (HSA) is a partnership of more than 27 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), plus the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), fighting for the preservation of marine biodiversity.
As a U.N. working group discusses a proposed “international mechanism” for the protection of oceans, the HSA says high seas and the international seabed area, which make up about 45 percent of the surface of the planet, “are brimming with biodiveristy and vital resources.”
But they are under increasing pressure from threats such as overfishing, habitat destruction and the impacts of climate change.
The HSA has expressed its strong support for negotiations to develop a new agreement to establish a legal regime to safeguard biodiversity in the high seas.