A Critical Analysis on the High Seas Treaty, 2023 and its Comparison over UNCLOS

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Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Manoj Prakash S
Published On: 01/03/2024
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
First Page: 96
Last Page: 115
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Manoj Prakash S, A Critical Analysis on the High Seas Treaty, 2023 and its Comparison over UNCLOS, Volume 10 Issue 1, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 96-115, Published on 01/03/2024, Available at https://jlsr.thelawbrigade.com/article/a-critical-analysis-on-the-high-seas-treaty-2023-and-its-comparison-over-unclos/


The earth is covered by a vast ocean and it almost covers two third of the world and the seas make up 95% of the total habitat of the world. The land contains only 5% of the habitat.  But only 1% of the high seas are protected under any protection protocol and only 39% of ocean befalls national jurisdiction of individual countries. High seas means the water column of the ocean that lies beyond the areas under the jurisdiction of any country. It lies beyond Exclusive Economic Zone. Article 86 of the UNCLOS indirectly says that high seas are seas that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. There was only the United Nations Convention on Law of the Seas which provided how to economically use the high seas and conserve its living resources, but it had more regulatory gap relating to conservation and sustainable use of marine, ocean and seas. To regulate the conducts of maritime trade, commerce, its protection, promotion of peaceful co-operation among the states at the High Seas, the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) i.e., IGC-5 of Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) concluded the landmark treaty for the protection of High Seas namely the Draft agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, 2023 or shortly, the High Seas Treaty, 2023 or BBNJ Treaty, 2023. It has proposed various key features of protecting the marine environment and promoting the trade among the member nations. This research paper focuses on those key aspects and compare this treaty with UNCLOS on how it will promote international trade among nations over UNCLOS.

Keywords: UNCLOS, BBNJ, High Seas Treaty, Marine environment, International trade.

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