SL welcomes UN agreement to protect high seas


Sri Lanka welcomes the conclusion of negotiations on a landmark agreement to enhance the international legal regime concerning the conservation of marine biological diversity in the High Seas which concluded on 4th March at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released today. 

The agreement covers almost two-thirds of the ocean that lies in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and provides a framework for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and share the marine genetic resources of the high seas.

The statement says that Sri Lanka welcomes the commitment by developed countries under the Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement to fund capacity-building projects which will assist developing countries to undertake conservation measures.
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“In order to benefit from the agreement in a fair and equitable manner, developing countries such as Sri Lanka need capacity building and transfer of technology, knowledge sharing and cooperation to fulfill rights and responsibilities in a meaningful manner. Sri Lanka’s participation during the negotiations ensured the conference takes into account these outcomes,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. 

“Given the interaction between marine life in the high seas and marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction and economies, the implementation of the BBNJ will also contribute to sustainable use of marine biodiversity areas beyond Sri Lanka’s national jurisdiction while also mitigating adverse impacts on the ocean through sea level rise, ocean pollution, and over exploitation of and marine resources.”

The statement reads.  Sri Lanka has already committed to declare a minimum 30 percent of its marine reserves as protected areas at the UNFCCC COP26 in 2021.
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