UNITED NATIONS, New York - In a significant step towards the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, the Philippines has signed the historic agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.

This reaffirms the country's commitment to protect the world's oceans for present and future generations.

The agreement aims to establish a legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas of the ocean that lie beyond the jurisdiction of any one nation.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo said the country is proud to take the important step.

"The Philippines is honored to sign this historic Agreement under UNCLOS. Our commitment to the protection of our oceans is unwavering, and we understand that this is a global responsibility," he said.

"By joining hands with the international community, we are ensuring that the world's oceans remain a source of life, sustenance, and wonder for all," Manalo added.

As an archipelagic nation with an extensive coastline and a rich marine biodiversity, the Philippines has long been aware of the importance of ocean health.

The country is home to some of the most diverse marine ecosystems on the planet, including the Coral Triangle, known as the "Amazon of the Seas" due to its incredible marine diversity.

The agreement under UNCLOS, often referred to as the "BBNJ Agreement" (Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction), addresses key issues related to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.

It includes provisions for the establishment of marine protected areas, the sharing of benefits from marine genetic resources, and capacity building for developing countries to participate fully in these efforts.

The signing ceremony was attended by diplomats, environmentalists, and representatives of various international organizations. It marked a critical moment in the global effort to address the challenges faced by the world's oceans, including overfishing, habitat destruction, and the impacts of climate change.

The DFA said the Philippines' participation in this agreement reflects a broader global commitment to protect the oceans. As countries continue to grapple with environmental crises and the urgent need for sustainability, international cooperation becomes increasingly vital.

The signing of the BBNJ Agreement is not only a symbol of hope but also a promise to future generations, it added.—LDF, GMA Integrated News

This article Philippines inks historic deal to protect world's oceans was originally published in GMA News Online.

2023-09-21T16:02:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd