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NZ to play role in crucial UN oceans treaty negotiation

Friday, 23 August: Government delegates from around the world, including New Zealand, are meeting in New York for the third of four meetings at the United Nations to agree a Global Oceans Treaty that could help to protect 30% of our oceans by 2030. Greenpeace is there to hold them to account and to urge New Zealand to take a more ambitious stance than it has thus far.

Greenpeace NZ’s oceans campaigner Jessica Desmond will be in New York at the meeting, because the New Zealand delegation will play a crucial role in the negotiations.

She says "this is a unique opportunity to address one of the major issues of our time: the excessive exploitation and destruction of our oceans, and the massive loss of marine life that comes with it."

"What happens in this meeting will set the fate of our oceans for generations to come, and it’s essential that the New Zealand delegation takes a strong stance. So far they have lacked ambition, seeming to favour a version of the treaty which would not deliver a global network of ocean sanctuaries.

"Our oceans are facing more threats than ever before, from overfishing to oil drilling, deep sea mining to plastic pollution. We need this treaty to allow the creation of a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries, free from harmful human activities, helping to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis and safeguard wildlife," says Desmond.

Over 1,750,000 people have signed a Greenpeace petition calling on world leaders, including Jacinda Ardern, to support the creation of ocean sanctuaries across the planet, and to back the strongest Global Ocean Treaty at the UN to enable this.

Alice Revell, leader of NZ’s UN delegation, is chairing the work on the Area Based Management Tools section of the treaty, which includes ocean sanctuaries.

On the 19th August, Oscar winner actor Javier Bardem appeared in Times Square with Greenpeace to demand a "GLOBAL OCEAN TREATY NOW" as an electronic billboard displayed threatened marine life.

Later, he addressed delegates at the United Nations meeting 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.

Greenpeace installed an ocean-inspired artwork outside the United Nations in New York. The 19 ft high sculpture of whales and turtles represents the many threats facing the oceans - from plastic pollution to oil drilling.

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