For the first time, the United Nations will vote for a treaty to protect and regulate the world’s oceans.
After half a decade of discussions, the UN is set to agree on a new rulebook by 2020, which could draw up conservation areas and scientific monitoring.
This would help in controlling the overfishing and pollution in the waters outside national maritime boundaries which are currently freely accessible for everyone.
“This is the biggest opportunity to change the status quo we have ever had,” said Will McCallum, the head of oceans at Greenpeace. “It could change everything.”
Only 3.5% of the world’s oceans are currently protected. The rest has been exploited and contaminated by pollution, fishing and mining, reported The Guardian.
“The science is clear on the role oceans play in ensuring the current and future livability of the planet. If we want our oceans to continue to provide food, absorb carbon, and regulate climate for the planet, protecting the biodiversity of the high seas is critical,” said Aulani Wilhelm, SVP, Center for Oceans at Conservation International.
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