Australia signs High Seas Biodiversity Treaty

  • Joint media release with:
  • The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water

Australia has joined like-minded nations, including Pacific partners, as a founding signatory of the historic High Seas Biodiversity Treaty.

The Treaty delivers stronger protections for the ocean under the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, including by providing a mechanism for establishing marine protected areas on the high seas.

It will also play an important role in achieving the global target to protect 30 per cent of the world’s coastal and marine areas by 2030.

As a demonstration of our commitment to the Treaty, Australia will deliver $3 million through the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner over the next three years to support Pacific countries to sign and ratify.

The Australian Government’s signing of this Treaty demonstrates our enduring commitment to multilateralism, which remains critical to tackling global challenges including the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Quote attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong:

“Australia has today signed a historic global treaty to protect the world’s ocean.”

“We have worked alongside our Pacific partners to make this treaty a reality - safeguarding our Blue Pacific for future generations.”

“Australia is working to ratify the treaty and bring it into force as soon as possible.”

Quote attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“The High Seas cover 60 per cent of the world’s surface and only about one per cent of these oceans are currently protected. International cooperation to protect and manage them is crucial. This treaty will enable us to meet our global goal of protecting 30 per cent of our earth’s oceans.

“Australians know how important marine parks are in our own country – sanctuaries for precious marine life to grow and flourish. This treaty allows us to establish marine parks in the high seas, leading to stronger protections for oceans around the world.

“Since coming to office the Albanese Government has been a leader on the world stage in ocean protection – from our role at the UN Oceans Conference last year to establishing the new Macquarie Island Marine Park in the Southern Ocean, giving an area larger than Germany high protection.

“Our oceans need stronger environmental protections world-wide and this will help to deliver that.”

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