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New UN Treaty Aims To Protect Ocean Biodiversity—What’s Next?
March 10, 2023

Fellows mentioned in this story: Jack Kittinger

From Arizona State University News:

For the first time since negotiations began more than 15 years ago, more than 100 countries have agreed on a United Nations treaty to protect the world’s oceans.

The landmark deal aims to conserve marine life and biodiversity in the “high seas” — international waters beyond individual national jurisdiction — which make up nearly half of the world’s surface, yet are largely unprotected.

The high seas are the largest habitat for life on Earth and the new deal proposed by the United Nations is seen as crucial to bringing 30% of the world’s land and sea under protection by 2030.

But what will protections under this proposed treaty look like in practice? What would enforcement look like? And what role do universities, ocean education and research fit into this equation?

ASU News spoke to John “Jack” Kittinger, an expert on marine conservation who serves as both a research professor in ASU’s new School of Ocean Futures and vice president of the Global Fisheries and Aquaculture program in Conservation International's Center for Oceans, about the new treaty, its potential impact and the pathway to implementation.

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