UN High Seas Treaty


    In News

    • Recently, for the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas.


    • The treaty is negotiated under the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982 which governs the rights of countries regarding marine resources.
    • 2/3rd of the world’s oceans are currently considered international waters/high seas. But until now only about 1% of these waters have been protected
    • It aims to create an updated framework to protect marine life in high seas, which are regions outside national boundary waters.
    • It will create a new body to manage the conservation of ocean life and establish marine protected areas on the high seas. 
    • The treaty also establishes ground rules for conducting environmental impact assessments for commercial activities in the oceans.

    Importance of High Seas:

    • Ninety per cent of global warming occurs in the ocean, deeply affecting Marine life.
    • Comprehensive protection of endangered species and habitats is not possible without High Seas which cover more than 40% of the Earth’s surface and two-thirds of the ocean.
    • Several marine species — including dolphins, whales, sea turtles and many fish — make long annual migrations, crossing national borders and the high seas. 
    • High seas are the  crucial component in global efforts to bring 30% of the world’s land and sea under protection by the end of the decade, a target known as “30 by 30”.
    • The treaty can have benefits for society (pharmaceuticals and food) and will help reverse biodiversity losses and ensure sustainable development.
    • The high seas treaty has also been an important matter pertaining to the North-South divide between poor and rich. Those who had resources have always been at an advantage from the activities in the high seas.


    • Developing nations were disappointed by the limited funding options included in the text of the treaty.
    • If the MPAs are not properly connected, it might not have the desired impact as many species are migratory.


    • The newly established treaty will permit the establishment of marine protected areas within international waters. This will build resilience from climate change, protect marine life, and will also oblige countries to conduct environmental impact assessments of proposed activities on the high seas.

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

    • The ‘Law of the Sea Treaty’, formally known as the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 to establish jurisdictional limits over ocean areas.
    • The convention defines a distance of 12 nautical miles from the baseline as the Territorial Sea limit and a distance of 200 nautical miles distance as the Exclusive Economic Zone limit.
    • It provides for technology and wealth transfer from developed to underdeveloped nations and requires parties to implement regulations and laws to control marine pollution.
    • India became a signatory to the UNCLOS in 1982.
    • UNCLOS created three new institutions:
      • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: It is an independent judicial body established by UNCLOS to adjudicate disputes arising out of the convention.
      • International Seabed Authority: It is a UN body set up to regulate the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters.
      • Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf: It facilitates the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the Convention) in respect of the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

    Source: TH


    Nano-DAP included in Fertilizer Control Order

    Syllabus: GS2/ Government policies & intervention

    In News

    • Centre has recently notified nano Di-Ammonia Phosphate (DAP) in the Fertilizer Control Order, allowing its commercial release for farmers.


    • Fertiliser cooperative Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) introduced nano liquid urea in 2021.
    • With this step, Nano DAP is expected to be priced at around Rs 600 for a 500 litres bottle, half the present subsidized rate of a 50-kilogram bag of DAP.
    • They have the potential to increase crop yield by up to 30% compared to traditional fertilisers, especially in areas with poor soil quality or limited access to water.
    • As with any new technology, there are concerns about the long-term environmental and health impacts of Nano DAP, and more research is needed to fully understand these risks.
    • Previously, the Centre has told fertiliser companies and states to promote Nano Urea and Nano DAP use which might hit the market by the next Kharif season.

    What is Nano DAP?

    • Nano-DAP is jointly manufactured by IFFCO in association with a private player Coromandel and is expected to contribute to bringing down the annual subsidy on non-urea fertilizers.
    • DAP stands for diammonium phosphate, which is a type of fertiliser that contains both nitrogen and phosphorus.
    • Nano DAP is a variation of DAP that has been modified at the nano-scale to improve its effectiveness in agriculture to enhance crop growth and yield.
    • It is produced by reducing the size of the DAP particles to the nano-scale (1-100 nanometres).
    • The small size of the particles allows for better absorption of the fertiliser by plant roots, resulting in increased crop growth and yield.
    • It is more efficient than traditional DAP, which means that less fertiliser is needed to achieve the same results.
    • It is also less likely to leach into groundwater or be washed away by rainfall, which can help reduce environmental pollution.

    Importance of Nano DAP for India

    • Cost Advantage: Nano-DAP is expected to be priced at around half the subsidized rate of traditional DAP, thus providing cost advantages to farmers.
    • Contribution to reducing subsidies: With the inclusion of Nano-DAP in the Fertilizer Control Order, it is expected to bring down the annual subsidy on non-urea fertilizers.
    • Increase in Farmer Income: Nano-DAP is expected to lead to an increase in farmer income by reducing input costs, increasing crop yield, and improving crop quality.
    • Better crop quality: The use of Nano-DAP is expected to improve crop quality, leading to better prices for farmers.
    • Nitrogen Use Efficiency: Nano-DAP has a high nutrient use efficiency of more than 85%, which helps to fulfil the nitrogen requirement of plants.
    • Reduction in Chemical Fertilizers: Nano-DAP can help reduce the injudicious use of chemical fertilizers like urea by 50%, thus promoting efficient use of plant chemicals.

    Challenges with Nano-DAP

    • Cost: While Nano-DAP is expected to be cost-effective in the long run, the initial investment can be higher for farmers who may not have the resources to invest in new fertilizers.
    • Limited availability: The production of Nano-DAP is currently limited and may not be sufficient to meet the demand of all farmers across India.
    • Awareness and education: The government and private sector will need to invest in educating farmers about the benefits of the new fertilizer and how to use it correctly.
    • Infrastructure: The government and private sector will need to invest in building the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the fertilizer reaches farmers in a timely and efficient manner.
    • Resistance: While Nano-DAP is expected to be more efficient than traditional fertilizers, farmers will need to use it responsibly to prevent resistance from developing.

    Way ahead

    • Nano DAP is a promising technology that has the potential to revolutionize the agriculture industry, especially for a country like India which needs to ensure food security for its billion-plus population.
    • However, further research is needed to fully understand these risks and ensure that the benefits of this technology outweigh any potential drawbacks.
    • Overall, Nano DAP presents a promising solution for improving crop productivity and addressing food security challenges around the world.

     Source: TH