General, Global affairs

Updated Covenant: Dutch State To Provide Continuous Support To The Ocean Cleanup’s High Seas Activities

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On 29 May 2024, we signed an amendment updating the covenant with the State of the Netherlands relating to the deployment of our cleanup system on the high seas, beyond national jurisdiction. This amendment demonstrates the Dutch government’s support for The Ocean Cleanup’s activities and its wish to follow international rules and regulations.

In 2018, the State of the Netherlands and The Ocean Cleanup signed a tailor-made agreement (covenant) relating to the deployment of the cleanup system on the high seas. Due to the novel nature of our work in the GPGP, there was a lack of applicable legislation relating to the system itself, and no ready-made legal framework for our operations.

The covenant embodies the determination of The Ocean Cleanup to deploy its system in line with international rules and regulations with respect to the environment, maritime safety and other users of the high seas.

Since the signing of the covenant in 2018, the system has been further developed, tested and validated, with hundreds of thousands of kilograms removed from the GPGP to date. We have shown that The Ocean Cleanup’s method is effective in cleaning floating plastic from the ocean. Having done this, the covenant needed to be amended to reflect the current and future activities of The Ocean Cleanup in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also taking into account the developments in international legislation such as the BBNJ Treaty.

We express our gratitude for the support of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and its continuous efforts to protect the world’s oceans against plastic pollution.

We would also like to thank the legal team from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek who helped us shape this future-proof amendment.

To see our 2018 update on the original Covenant with the Dutch State, click here.