Talks lack depth

Published: Friday 15 August 2003

-- (Credit: Alex Aguilar / GBC University<)Sixty per cent of the world's ocean area is categorised as international waters and prone to exploitation. Yet the need to safeguard fragile ecosystems in areas beyond national jurisdictions was left unresolved at two international meetings -- 'Defying Ocean's End' (doe) in Los Cabos, Mexico, and the open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea in New York, usa. Government delegates merely recommended that the United Nations General Assembly (unga) reaffirm the value of marine protected areas as a management tool and call on the international community to develop a global system of such zones. A gathering of scientists sought the creation of a world ocean public trust to manage international waters. The unga was also asked to draw up an inventory of flag state obligations to ensure implementation of international navigation safety rules. But this list is not legally binding.

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