Greenpeace disappointed after UN negotiations on the Oceans Treaty
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Greenpeace disappointed after UN negotiations on the Oceans Treaty

An Ocean-inspired artwork created by Greenpeace outside the United Nations in New York. Credit: © Greenpeace / Alex Yallop

Greenpeace expressed on Friday its disappointment with the 3rd session of the Global Ocean Treaty negotiations held at UN headquarters in New York.

“The result is distressing because most countries have refused to make significant promises,”  the environmental organisation said, according to Belga.

This week, delegations from more than 190 countries gathered in New York, under the guidance of the United Nations, to discuss an ocean treaty.

Greenpeace has followed the debates closely and believes that they have not been up to the task.

“It is very disappointing to see that the pace and ambition in this meeting don’t match the level of urgency required to save our oceans and protect our planet against the climate emergency and massive biodiversity loss we are facing,” said Sandra Schoettner, Greenpeace’s oceans expert.

“Keeping things as they are is not going to save our oceans or, ultimately, humankind,” Schoettner added.

The 19 ft high sculpture of whales and turtles represents the many threats facing the oceans – from plastic pollution and industrial fishing to oil drilling. Credit: © Greenpeace / Alex Yallop

According to the NGO, Belgium is one of the only European countries to have shown sufficient ambition.

“We are pleased that Belgium wants to protect 30% of the oceans by 2030, but it must put an end to its ambiguity about the exploitation of marine mines,” explained An Lambrechts, representative of the Belgian Greenpeace campaign on ocean protection, who attended the conference.

Lambrecht refers in particular to an exploration contract for Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR), a subsidiary of DEME, which Belgium has been supporting since early 2013.

The final phase of negotiations for an international oceans treaty will be held in spring 2020. Greenpeace urgently hopes that world leaders will pull themselves together to “preserve our oceans for future generations”.

The Brussels Times

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