A call to protect the ocean

Richard Barnden / Greenpeace

The Good News of the Week: Youth and activists across the world call on world leaders to support a new “Paris agreement” for the Ocean.

A petition urging world leaders to support the adoption of a High Seas Treaty was launched at the Nobel Peace Center this week.

The high seas are covering almost half the planet’s surface. A true, global commons, the high seas are outside of any country’s jurisdiction and still largely unprotected by international law, they remain vulnerable. Right now, world governments are in the final stages of negotiating a new treaty under the UNB Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS), with the aim of conserving and protecting the high seas. After nearly two decades of discussions at the UN, world governments are in the final stages of the negotiations, planning to meet again in 2022.

Photo: Kim Grønneberg / Nobel Peace Center

“This is the greatest opportunity in a generation to safeguard 2/3 of the world’s ocean”, Travis Aten, who is Programme Officer at the High Seas Alliance, said. He took part in an event at the Nobel Peace Center Thursday this week, gathering young leaders and experts to highlight the importance of the high seas and the treaty. Among the speakers were Vidar Helgesen, the CEO of the Nobel Foundation, and youth leaders from across the world. Among them Sunna Svendsen, a sami activist (in photo with moderator Erik Aasheim).

"It is critical that supporters come together and call on world leaders to urgently support the adoption of an ambitious High Seas Treaty for the sake of the ocean, the planet, and all of us. "
-Petition on the High Seas Treaty, launched 10 June

The petition urging world governments to support the High Seas Treaty is already signed by more than 1000 individuals.

“This petition is an opportunity for the public to amplify the importance of securing a strong High Seas Treaty as soon as possible. With new threats facing the oceans every single day, we need a robust treaty that dramatically improves the conservation of our shared global ocean commons”, Travis Aten said.


Every Friday during the summer season, the Nobel Peace Center presents the Good News of the Week: news that show that the world is moving in the right direction. A peace dove is released from the windows at the Nobel Peace Center at noon. Follow us on Facebook to watch the event live!