By Kitta MacPherson
Rutgers Law Associate Professor Cymie Payne is participating in historic ocean treaty negotiations and predicts it will increase ocean resilience to climate change
Climate change. Overfishing. Seabed floor mining.
These are some of the epic challenges that would be addressed by a historic United Nations treaty protecting ocean biodiversity that gained backing in early March when a significant majority of nations agreed on language supporting it.
Covering the “high seas,” the enormous belt of brine spanning nearly half of the globe, the U.N. High Seas Biodiversity Treaty would protect marine biodiversity and provide oversight of international waters.
Cymie Payne, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology in the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) and Rutgers Law, was present at the U.N. headquarters in New York for the entire two-week conference and for the 38-hour final session, when the final wording of the treaty was agreed upon. Kyra Bostic, a SEBS undergrad and Payne’s student, was a delegate at the conference with her.
Payne, an expert in international and environmental law, explained the goals of the treaty, its importance and some of the next steps toward implementation.