By Esme Stallard Climate and Science Reporter, BBC News Read the full article here.
After 10 years of negotiations, nations have reached a historic agreement to protect the world's oceans. The High Seas Treaty aims to put 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030 to safeguard and recuperate marine nature. This is a monumental achievement, as the last international agreement of this scale on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago. The agreement will put limits on the amount of fishing that can take place, the routes of shipping lanes, and exploration activities such as deep-sea mining. Environmental groups have voiced concerns that mining processes could be toxic for marine life, and that this could disturb animal breeding grounds and create noise pollution. In addition, the treaty establishes that any benefits of marine genetic resources should be shared equally so that poorer nations can also benefit. With this agreement, countries are sending a powerful message that protecting nature and people can triumph over geopolitics. Now, countries will need to meet again to formally adopt the agreement and set up necessary institutions in order to start implementing the treaty.