1 of 5 | Jane Fonda speaks at a panel related to the UN High Seas Treaty at the United Nations on Tuesday in New York City. A new round of negotiations launched Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Actress Jane Fonda and 5.5 million people from 157 countries are calling on the United Nations to establish a "strong" Global Ocean Treaty.
More than 5.5 million signatures were gathered in a petition campaign led by the actress and world-renowned activist. On Tuesday, the petition was delivered to Rena Lee, president of U.N. negotiations, according to Greenpeace.
The petition is demanding that the U.N. establish a treaty that will protect at least 30% of the world's oceans by 2030, which follows guidance established in the 30 for 30 initiative, which was shared in a 2022 U.N. report on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans. The 30% mark was determined to be the minimum to allow for marine biomes to recover from the effects of man-made pollution and industrial activity including overfishing.
"We need a Global Ocean Treaty and we need it now. It is at our own peril to delay any further," Fonda said in a statement.
"I urge you as a mother, a grandmother, and a citizen of this world -- let's set aside the politics, the special interests, and the inertia that tends to drag big, bold ideas into the ground, and let's get this done -- for every life on Earth."
Negotiations for an ocean treaty resumed on Monday as Fonda and more than 5 million others called for the Global North to contribute a larger share of funding toward protecting the ocean. Negotiations fell apart in 2022 because member nations could not agree on how to share the benefits of marine genetic resources which can be applied to research and the development of medicines, according to The Guardian.
The negotiations in 2022 lasted about two weeks.
"Millions of people from almost every continent have joined us in calling for a treaty. Leaders have a chance to cement their legacy: Ocean protection or exploitation," Laura Meller, oceans campaigner for Greenpeace Nordic said in a statement.