Joint statement on successful conclusion of historic treaty to protect marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction


March 6, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today made the following statement following the successful conclusion of negotiations on the creation of a legally binding treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The negotiations took place at the final session of the Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ in New York from February 20 to March 4, 2023:

“Securing a legally binding agreement on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction is a big achievement of which Canada is very proud. The effective governance of the high seas is integral for the protection of marine biodiversity, and this agreement will go a long way to support this goal.

“This is big step forward for environmental sustainability and the conservation of marine biological diversity. This agreement will enable the development of integrated, holistic approaches to ocean conservation, including the implementation of strong, effective and practical measures to protect biodiversity.

“When Canada stepped up to host the largest biodiversity conference in world history at COP15 in Montréal, we played a pivotal role in getting countries to agree to reverse the decline in biodiversity and to commit to protecting the world’s oceans. We came out of COP15 with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, a global commitment to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. And at every step of the BBNJ negotiations, Canada yet again engaged with countries around the world to build support for an ambitious agreement to help us achieve this commitment. The BBNJ agreement will be critical to improving the health and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction.

“Our oceans are at the core of who we are as a country. With the longest coastlines in the world, marine and coastal areas are essential to Canada’s economy and to Canadians’ livelihoods across the country. Our government’s enduring commitment to protect them is a point of pride for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

“We will continue to work with our international partners to promote a bluer, cleaner, more sustainable world.”


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)

Matthew Dillon
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans|and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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