protected areas tagged posts

Mobile Marine Protected Areas Proposed for UNCLOS

World leaders are currently updating the laws for international waters, and a group of scientists have proposed that they should include measures that allow protected zones to shift as species move under climate change. The scientists are advocating that the United Nations include mobile marine protected areas in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) now being updated since its last signing in 1982. The Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is set to adopt a final treaty text that secures an agreement for a U.N. high seas conservation treaty which provides a mechanism for establishing marine protected areas and reserves. The IGC-4 meeting takes place in New York from March 23 to April 3.

“Animals obviously don’t stay in one place; a lot of them use very large areas of the ocean,...

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UK takes step forward in global marine protection

Uk coastline

More than half of the UK’s global waters are set to be within Marine Protected Areas, putting the UK at the forefront of calls to protect 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030.

The UK Government has backed plans by Ascension Island to designate over 150,000 square miles of its waters as a fully protected ‘no-take’ Marine Protected Area (MPA) – closing the off-shore area to any fishing activity and safeguarding important marine habitats for future generations.

When protected, the new no-take zone around Ascension Island would bring the total percentage of MPAs in the UK’s territorial waters, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to over 50%...

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Surge in marine refuges brings world close to protected areas goal

A record surge in the creation of marine protected areas has taken the international community close to its goal of creating nature refuges on 17% of the world’s land and 10% of seas by 2020, according to a new UN report. Protected regions now cover more than five times the territory of the US, but the authors said this good news was often undermined by poor enforcement. Some reserves are little more than “paper parks” with little value to nature conservation. At least one has been turned into an industrial zone.

More than 27m square kilometres of seas (7% of the total) and 20m sq km of land (15% of the total) now have protected status, according to the Protected Planet report, which was released on Sunday at the UN biodiversity conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Almost all of th...

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Bigger Is Not Better for Ocean Conservation

Fish graphic demonstrates fish nearer coastlines

I have spent my entire life pushing for new protected areas in the world’s oceans. But a disturbing trend has convinced me that we’re protecting very little of real importance with our current approach.

From Hawaii to Brazil to Britain, the establishment of large marine protected areas, thousands of square miles in size, is on the rise. These areas are set aside by governments to protect fisheries and ecosystems; human activities within them generally are managed or restricted. While these vast expanses of open ocean are important, their protection should not come before coastal waters are secured. But in some cases, that’s what is happening.

Near-shore waters have a greater diversity of species and face more immediate threats from energy extraction, tourism, development, habitat deg...

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