The ocean is home to millions of species, many of which are still unknown to humans. It supplies us with oxygen and each year absorbs nearly 25% of the greenhouse gases we produce by burning fossil fuels. However, vast areas of the high seas, which cover nearly half of the Earth’s surface, remain unregulated.
Countries are currently negotiating a landmark global deal known as the BBNJ (biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction), which for the first time would plug this significant gap while tackling the increasing pressures of activities such as fishing and mining, and marine pollution.
But the 48-page draft text for negotiation released by the United Nations in June indicates the wide-ranging differences that remain between nations. Read on.