Earlier this week, Oscar-award-winning actor Javier Bardem was in Times Square to demand a “GLOBAL OCEAN TREATY NOW” as an electronic billboard displayed images of threatened marine life.
He then addressed delegates at the United Nations to urge governments to agree a strong Global Ocean Treaty that could help to protect at least 30% of the world’s seas by 2030. This is the third out of four meetings at the UN to negotiate a treaty that could set the frame for a legally-binding ‘Paris Agreement of the oceans’.
“Whatever happens during this conference will have a deep impact on the life of our oceans and on the future of humankind. Delegates must know that the world is watching as they negotiate towards a Global Oceans Treaty. We just can’t afford to get it wrong,” said Bardem.
The event at the UN started with a trailer of the documentary ‘Sanctuary’ by the director Alvaro Longoria about his voyage to one of the most remote areas of the high seas in urgent need of protection: the Weddell Sea in Antarctica. Bardem, who produced the documentary and also took part in this expedition, shared his personal experience and called on world leaders to raise their ambitions in protecting our blue planet.
Greenpeace also raised a huge ocean-inspired artwork near the UN on Monday morning. The 19 ft high sculpture of whales and turtles represents the many threats facing the oceans – from plastic pollution to oil drilling – while embedded video screens relayed messages from people all over the world asking for governments to make history by agreeing an ambitious Global Ocean Treaty.
Speaking from the conference, Dr. Sandra Schoettner of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign, said:
“We need a radical change in the way we manage our oceans. Relying upon existing frameworks is not enough. And this is particularly the case for areas beyond national jurisdiction which are among the least protected areas on our blue planet. These negotiations are the best chance we have to change the status quo and adopt a treaty with teeth to deliver effective protection through a network of fully protected ocean sanctuaries. Such a network, according to science, needs to cover at least a third of the world’s oceans by 2030 if we’re to defend precious wildlife, help to tackle the climate crisis and provide food security for billions of people around the world.”