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Global Maritime Accord – Webinar for Ocean and Climate Policy Innovators
By Sea and Coast | 14/08/2023
The webinar for Ocean and Climate Policy Innovators, Researchers and Media was successfully conducted on 28th July 2023, and it was an insightful experience. 
The Invitation to the Global Maritime Accord – Academy Webinar, was given on the topic of UNCLOS or SOS? Can the law save our seas? 
Various experts from the Naval, Maritime, Law, etc., background had presented their ideas, current issues, practical solutions and also interacted with the viewers by answering their queries.
The webinar for Ocean and Climate Policy Innovators, Researchers and Media started with a warm welcome and Admiral R.K. Dhowan (Retd), SAMDeS, India, mentioned in detail about the Global Maritime Accord – Save Oceans for a Safe Earth. 
He highlighted that the sea surface temperature, across the world, are soaring to the highest levels in recorded history. 
The sea-levels are rising, due to global warming, resulting in erosion of coastal areas and sinking of low-level islands. 
He added that deep sea-bed mining and acidification in the oceans have resulted in contamination of natural marine habitat and depletion of biodiversity. 
Human kind continues to overfish and dump 13 million tonnes of plastic garbage into the oceans every year. 
He mentioned how the above activities are causing large scale contamination to the marine diversity. 
He further highlighted that humankind is blind to the fact that oceans are essential to life on earth, as the oceans are the suppliers of oxygen and provides 50% of our oxygen needs. They are the absorbers of CO2 and approximately 30% of the greenhouse gases are silently absorbed by the oceans. They are a virtual heat sink which keep the earth cool, are a great source of renewable energy and have emerged as global economic highways for transit of over 80% of world’s trade, as he explained the importance of the oceans.
Moreover, Admiral RK Dhowan (Retd.) had stated, “The high seas or the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), comprise about 65% of the global ocean spaces and 95% of the earth’s habitat. However, this is the least protected area on the planet and global waters have been over-exploited and polluted by human greed, under the garb of freedom of the seas and common heritage of the mankind. 
A few months ago, the members of the United Nations, adopted the first ever treaty for conservation and protection of marine life and biodiversity, in the Global comments. 
One of the objectives of our Global Maritime Accord is to promote legislation and governance in ABNJ and the theme of the webinar today is actually a sos call to see whether the maritime law and legislation can provide some path-breaking recommendations to save the oceans.” 
Followed by Raghbendra Jha PhD (Columbia), who mentioned about a core challenge of the Global Maritime Accord: Voluntary provision of public goods. 
In which he explained the economic approach and suggested solutions to save our oceans and seas. Highlighting direct action of global public production with the example of the application of satellite surveillance and regulation of the use of sea-beds. Organisational and financial arrangements are needed to facilitate this. 
The next presentation was from Professor Edwin Egede, Cardiff University, on Common Heritage of Humankind (CHM): a human-centric concept under international law? He started by discussing the sovereignty and freedom of the seas. 
He then explained that CHM under UNCLOS which is covered in various articles. Key takeaways like shared assets, where equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits derived from activities in the area.
Other takeaway involved hearing the voice of humankind, how humankind could be more actively engaged in the discussions on spatial areas, declared to be CHM. Through their state representatives, civil societies and through the participation of other stakeholders, etc. He overall provided an international law perspective via his presentation. 
The first integrated and coordinated strategy to the harmonized management and governance of the seas, particularly the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, is the Global Maritime Accord (GMA). 
The venue for learning, teaching, research, and exchange for developing the GMA is known as the GMA Academy (GMAA).
GMA and GMAA are working together internationally to promote ocean health. The protection of marine biological variety in places outside of national jurisdiction is a goal of the Intergovernmental Conference on Legally Binding Instruments under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 
Oceanographers, attorneys, environmentalists, diplomats, and military security experts from Australia, Germany, India, Canada, Chile, Kenya, Denmark, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, and United States are among the people working on the development of the Accord.