The MAPS Treaty

Why do we need it?

Today, much of the Arctic Ocean is unprotected under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which gives coastal states full authority to exploit all natural resources within 200 nautical miles or more from their coastlines.

The MAPS Treaty is an addendum to the UNCLOS that protects all Arctic Ocean waters north of the Arctic Circle.

MAPS allows:

Scientific investigation
Local subsistence fishing
Observation and inspection


MAPS stops:

Natural resource exploitation
Seismic testing
Commercial fishing
Through shipping traffic
Military activity


By scientific estimates, half of the planet must become protected areas if we are to stop a staggering loss of biodiversity.

We are past the time for incremental steps to protect our ecosystems. Our world is in crisis and all life is at risk.

Bold, decisive and ambitious action on a large scale is required to keep our planet safe and healthy.

MAPS is not an end goal, but a baseline necessity.

How is MAPS declared?

Every member state of the United Nations is eligible to sign the MAPS Treaty.

It enters into force with the signatures of 99 states, including those with territory in the Arctic Ocean.

What happens when MAPS is declared?

Every state signing the MAPS Treaty agrees to:

  • Put an immediate stop to all activities prohibited under the MAPS Treaty, and
  • Harmonize its own laws to ensure compliance with the Treaty

A governing body will be established with the United Nations to ensure compliance with the MAPS Treaty.

MAPS must be realized now.
The planet cannot wait.
Nor can we.

We transform the world together.