Tobias Billström signs High Seas Treaty
Following more than 15 years of negotiations, in March 2023 the UN successfully adopted a new global treaty to protect marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Sweden has now signed the treaty, which establishes rules to limit environmental impacts and create marine protected areas in the high seas, which make up approximately 95 per cent of the volume of the world’s oceans.
“This treaty is the most important international climate agreement since the Paris Agreement and provides substantially better conditions to protect biodiversity and counter climate change. The negotiations were successfully concluded during the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and together with the EU and its Member States, we will push for swift ratification of the treaty so that it can enter into force as soon as possible,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström.
The treaty comprises four elements: (1) rules for areas-based management tools, including marine protected areas, (2) environmental impact assessments, (3) marine genetic resources and (4) capacity-building and transfer of marine technology.
“This is a pioneering treaty for the world’s oceans. It is essential that we protect our world’s ecosystems from pollution and climate change. I am very happy that Sweden has been a driving force in these efforts and contributed to the successful conclusion of the negotiations,” says Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari.
Sweden has long played a leading role in the work on international marine environments and, together with the EU, stands behind the UN’s goal of protecting 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface by 2030. The treaty will help make it possible to achieve this goal.
Press Secretary to Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström
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