A new report to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity states that 8.3 million square kilometers are now protected. While this number is only 2.3 percent of the global ocean area, it represents a ten-fold increase in Marine Protected Areas over the last decade.
The global goal, determined at the 2004 Convention on Biological Diversity, is to have 10 percent of the world’s oceans protected by the year 2020. Until recently, this number looked highly unrealistic; however, the rapid growth occurring over the last decade suggests that it might actually be possible.
Examples of new MPAs
- Chagos archipelago
- Cook Islands: 1.1 million sq km, four times the area of the UK land mass
- New Caledonia: 1.4 million sq km
- Great Barrier Reef: additional 2.7 million sq km
Spalding, the lead author of the report, continued to explain that “we have to ask whether the targets in themselves are enough – or whether governments need to be smarter to ensure that they’re protecting the very most important areas.”
To learn more, check out these Reports from the Convention:
- Protected Areas: Progress in the Implementation of the Programme of Work and Achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11
- Progress Report on Describing Areas That Meet the Criteria for Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas
Read this article from the BBC: Marine Protected Areas increase 10-fold in a decade
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.