Workshop in Barbados ends with call to protect high seas

A three-day workshop in Barbados discussed a potential new international agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea focusing on the protection of the high seas.

At present, over 100 nations from different regions are negotiating a treaty to protect the marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Addressing the representatives at the workshop, Barbados’ deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Juliette Babb-Riley noted that “biologically and ecologically, there are no boundaries”. To “properly conserve marine resources” in a country’s area, attention must be paid to the protection of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The workshop included discussions on the conservation of the ocean, such as area-based management tools, which include marine protected areas; environmental impact assessments; capacity-building and technology transfer; and access and benefit sharing of marine genetic resources.

Ms. Babb-Riley emphasised the importance of such a treaty for the Caribbean and Pacific small island developing states, to protect their blue economies.