Ocean Rights Internationally

With nearly two-thirds of the Ocean beyond areas of national jurisdiction, coordinated international action is necessary to protect Ocean health. We are working with partners internationally, including the High Seas Alliance, the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative and the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law to advance Ocean Rights in International Law.


ELC held a joint-webinar with the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA) on June 18th, 2018 on the emerging movement of Ocean Rights. You can watch the webinar here, and email mbender@earthlaw.org for powerpoints or to learn more.

High Seas

In fall 2018 the United Nations convened negotiations for the International Treaty for Biodiversity on the High Seas. Earth Law Center joined the nearly 40 organizations of the High Seas Alliance, to work toward protecting the half of the planet that is not under national jurisdiction. Learn more about the treaty and process (PDF). It is also available in Spanish (PDF) and French (PDF).

Help us encourage the adoption of a new legal framework into the treaty

ELC has issued a call for action for governments around the world to incorporate the Rights of Nature into their legal systems. To add your voice to this ongoing initiative, contact Ocean Rights Manager Michelle Bender at mbender@earthlaw.org. You can read more about the initiative in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF). How can countries do so? Read ELC’s evolving recommendation and analysis, and share!

You can also help by subscribing to our newsletter, volunteering, or donating to Earth Law Center.