the Convention and the London Protocol that regulate the dumping of substances at sea
The cooperation, the agreements and the processes that take place at the level of the United Nations are determinative to the way in which we manage the oceans sustainably now and in the future. This cooperation is very important because more than 70% of the world consists of seas and oceans over which the countries have no legal control. This area is known as the "high seas" (Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction).
Firstly, there was a need for a key convention for all activities at sea. This has already been negotiated within the United Nations in the fifties. In 1982, this led to the UN Sea Convention or UNCLOS that lays down the rights and responsibilities of the States and the private actors in our seas and oceans and that is decisive for the current marine regulations.
At the UN conference in 1992 (Rio de Janeiro), the United Nations agreed to, among others, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Ten years later in 2002, the UN Conference on sustainable development took place in Johannesburg to achieve the environmental objectives. The Johannesburg Declaration is a political engagement with concrete steps for, inter alia, the following:
• the protection of marine biodiva
• the establishment of marine protected areas;
• the stimulation of scientific research at sea (e.g., 10% marine protected areas by 2012).
In 2012, the United Nations organised a world summit on sustainable development, also called the Earth Summit 2012 or Rio+20. The two main themes were the green economy and the international frameworks for sustainable development.
Besides, as a part of the UN processes, there are also a number of conventions or agreements with specific goals that are important to the protection of the marine environment:
• the Convention for the protection of the migratory species (Bonn Convention);
• the agreements for the protection of migratory small cetaceans (ASCOBANS) and of migratory birds between Europe and Africa (AEWA);
• the convention for the prevention of marine pollution by ships (MARPOL);
• the Convention and the London Protocol that regulate the dumping of substances at sea
Finally, there are a number of institutions or satellite organisations that are internationally important to the protection of the marine environment (such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - FAO).