Fri, 3 November 2023
In this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast, host Andrew Lewin discusses the progress and next steps for the High Seas Treaty. He highlights the significance of the treaty being signed by over 80 countries and emphasizes the need for more countries to join. The episode explores what comes next in the process of getting the high seas protected and emphasizes the importance of collective action for a better ocean.
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In this episode, the host encourages listeners to actively participate by leaving a voice message and sharing the episode to raise awareness and foster optimism for the ocean. The host expresses a genuine desire to hear the voices of the listeners and urges them to spread the episode among their colleagues, family, and friends. Emphasizing the importance of optimism and hope for the ocean, the host highlights the significance of spreading awareness as a means to inspire others and contribute to the protection of the high seas.
The episode underscores the crucial role of understanding the genetics of the ocean, species, habitats, and ecosystems in effectively safeguarding them. The host emphasizes the indispensability of genetic resources and the need to gather information about the genetics of the ocean. This information is vital for conducting impact assessments and monitoring the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The host stresses the importance of identifying what requires protection and the continuous monitoring necessary to assess the efficacy of MPAs and impact assessments. Additionally, the episode underscores the significance of genetic biodiversity and genetic materials in preserving overall biodiversity and the planet. The host highlights the necessity of a fit-for-purpose ocean observing system to support the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement, which aims to protect biodiversity beyond countries' exclusive economic zones. The host expresses optimism and hope that by safeguarding the ocean and its genetic resources, a positive impact can be made, ensuring the sustainability of marine ecosystems.
Furthermore, the host discusses the signing of the high seas treaty, a significant achievement in early 2023. While over 80 countries have signed the treaty, the host emphasizes the need for more countries to join. The treaty's purpose is to protect the high seas, referring to the ocean beyond each country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The host underscores the importance of safeguarding the high seas due to the current lack of sufficient management, oversight, and enforcement in this area.
A key component of the high seas treaty is the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs). These designated boundaries within the ocean aim to prevent extractive activities such as oil and gas extraction, deep-sea mining, and fishing, providing protection to marine ecosystems and biodiversity. The host emphasizes the necessity of increasing the number of MPAs in the high seas to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
The episode also highlights the need for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) in the high seas. EIAs are conducted to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects or activities. The host points out the lack of impact assessments on larger projects in the high seas, which have been carried out without proper barriers or management. The high seas treaty seeks to address this issue by promoting the implementation of impact assessments to ensure the sustainable development of the high seas.
Additionally, the host underscores the importance of genetic resources in the high seas. Genetic resources refer to the genetic material of marine organisms that can be utilized for scientific research and the development of new drugs. The host emphasizes the need for more genetic resources in the high seas and suggests that the high seas treaty can facilitate access to and sharing of these resources for the advancement of science and conservation efforts.
Overall, the episode highlights the signing of the high seas treaty as a significant step towards protecting the high seas. However, the host emphasizes the need for further action in terms of establishing more protected areas, conducting impact assessments, enforcing regulations, and accessing genetic resources. These actions are crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainability and conservation of the high seas.