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What is the U.N. High Seas Treaty?

Ocean Souls

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we discuss the historic UN High Seas Treaty, which provides a legal framework to protect the biodiversity of the world's oceans.

The ocean covers about 71 percent of the earth's surface and produces half of the oxygen we breathe, but almost two-thirds of this vast body lies outside international boundaries.

The agreement is critical to enforcing the pledge made during last year's UN Biodiversity Conference to protect 30 percent of land and sea by 2030. The treaty still needs to be ratified.


David Helvarg, executive director of Blue Frontier and host/producer of the Rising Tide Ocean podcast

Jeremy Raguain, environmental campaigner from the Seychelles islands in the western Indian Ocean and fellow at the Alliance of Small Island States

Farah Yasmin Obaidullah, ocean advocate, founder of Women4Oceans, and editor of The Ocean and Us

Web Resources:

Science: Historic treaty could open the way to protecting 30% of the oceans

The Guardian: Crucial high seas treaty stuck over sharing of genetic resources

Women4Oceans: Deep-Sea Mining: A Regulatory Nightmare

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.