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Jane Fonda and 5.5 million people call for UN Ocean Treaty

New York, United States – WEBWIRE

As the fifth and hopefully final round of UN Ocean Treaty negotiations resume, actor and activist Jane Fonda has delivered 5.5 million signatures from 157 countries demanding a strong Global Ocean Treaty to Rena Lee, president of the UN negotiations. Without a strong Treaty being agreed at this round of talks, it will be practically impossible to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.[1] This is the minimum scientists say is necessary to allow the oceans to recover from decades of pollution, overfishing, and other industrial activities. 

Jane Fonda will give a press briefing with Minister Hervé Berville, Secretary of State for the Sea of the Republic of France, at the United Nations (S237) on 21 February at 1300 EST / 1900 CET. You can dial in to this briefing by clicking here. 

There are high expectations that these talks will be the final round of UN Ocean Treaty negotiations after the last round of talks  collapsed at the last minute. Jane Fonda was joined in delivering the petition, coordinated by Only One and Greenpeace, by Anta Diouf, a community leader in Senegal representing fisherwomen and processors from the region. 

Jane Fonda, actor and activist, said:
“We need a Global Ocean Treaty and we need it now. It is at our own peril to delay any further.  I urge you as a mother, a grandmother, and a citizen of this world – let’s set aside the politics, the special interests, and the inertia that tends to drag big, bold ideas into the ground, and let’s get this done – for every life on Earth.”

Anta Diouf, a coastal community leader in Senegal, said:
“We female fish processors and the fishing communities we belong to are facing real challenges because of fish resource scarcity. Fishermen who supply fish to us risk their lives at sea as a result of such scarcity. The ocean is a world heritage when it is protected. We are therefore calling on world leaders present in New York for the resumed fifth round of negotiations on a Global Ocean Treaty, including our local authorities, to conclude this treaty for the sake of protecting our oceans, lives and jobs.”

Dr Laura Meller, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Nordic, said:
“Millions of people around the world rely on healthy oceans for their livelihoods and sustenance. We know leaders can – and they must – deliver a UN Ocean Treaty at this round of negotiations. Millions of people from almost every continent have joined us in calling for a Treaty. Leaders have a chance to cement their legacy: Ocean protection or exploitation.”

The last round of negotiations failed in 2022 because countries from the Global North offered too little, too late, on financing and benefit sharing from Marine Genetic Resources.  It’s vital that at this new round of negotiations, Global North countries make a timely and credible offer to the Global South that can get a Treaty over the finishing line.

A UN Ocean Treaty is of fundamental importance to deliver the 30×30 target at sea. All governments agreed to the 30×30 target as part of the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December 2022. Without a Treaty, there is no legal route to protecting large areas of international waters in Marine Protected Areas.

The oceans, which cover 70% of the planet, are the earth’s largest ecosystem and a key ally in the fight against climate change. They face multiple threats from plastic pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and a nascent deep sea mining industry. Currently, less than 5% of the oceans are protected.


Photo and Video are available via the Greenpeace Media Library

Notes to Editors

[1] COP15 ends with landmark biodiversity agreement

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