Reasons to be Cheerful – World Wildlife Day and The High Seas Treaty

Although climate activists seems to attract most of the environmental headlines, there other arguably more important United Nations frameworks than the one discussed at COP 27 in Egypt last year.

The Convention on Biological Diversity, which amongst other things seeks to cut the rate that animals are becoming extinct and links to international conservation organisations, has its own Conference of the Parties where participants recently agreed a historic deal, despite protests from some nations. The ambition of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and cut the extinction rate for all species by a factor of ten by 2050. This over-arching agreement provides the structure to restore degraded areas and to police the trade in endangered species. World Wildlife Day on 3 March is important to highlight this work by dedicated conservationists and international task forces tackling environmental crime, reported to be worth $281 Billion per year.

The High Seas Treaty that was signed today after nearly 20 years negotiation, is perhaps an even greater success story and I hope that one day it will be looked upon as ground-breaking as The Antarctic Treaty. Having been involved in marine conservation projects since the 1980s, I congratulate the delegates and look forward to the agreement being enforced through the Convention on the Law of the Sea.


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