The High Seas Treaty

Following nearly 20 years of discussions and negotiations, on June 19th, 2023, at UN Headquarters in New York, world governments formally adopted a new international treaty under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (The High Seas Treaty).

RISE UP is actively backing campaigns to ensure that a minimum of 60 countries both sign and ratify the Treaty to ensure it becomes international law by the UN Ocean Conference in 2025.

Why is this a RISE UP Priority Campaign?

RISE UP has placed a high priority on ratification and implementation of the High Seas Treaty, as it aligns with the following key aspects of the Blue Call to Action:

  • Effective and equitable ocean governance and management.
  • The establishment of a global network of effective and representative marine protected areas by 2030. 
  • The Treaty will be instrumental in helping to achieve the Target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework that includes protecting at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.

What’s next?

The treaty opened for signature on September 20, 2023. While signature of the treaty signals a country’s intent to ratify, it does not formally bind a country. Ratification takes more time as it potentially requires a country to undertake domestic measures to comply with the treaty’s provisions. Only after 60 countries ratify the Treaty, will it enter into force and become international law. So, it’s crucial for many countries to ratify it quickly, so that it can enter into force, and finally change the tide of global ocean governance. Follow the progress on on the High Seas Treaty Ratification Tracker:

How can you help?

Add your name to urge your government and other world leaders to sign the Treaty.

Accelerating High Seas Treaty ratification: Policy Recommendations for Oceans 20/G20

Ocean Dialogues 2024 (Brazil)

RISE UP in collaboration with The High Seas Alliance and the Ilhas do Rio Project, convened an Ocean Dialogue under the auspices of Oceans 20. During this event, experts and leaders shared insights and exchanged knowledge, resulting in a comprehensive set of policy recommendations aimed at expediting the ratification and implementation of the High Seas Treaty under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). These recommendations will be considered when drafting the final Oceans 20 Communiqué.

You can watch the Webinar here and we invite you to download the detailed policy recommendations document to explore the actions required by various stakeholders to achieve these critical objectives. 

Key Partners

High Seas Alliance