Protect Planet Ocean
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Marine Conservation

Protect Planet Ocean is an initiative by IUCN with the collaboration with UNEP-WCMC
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Targets to increase marine protection

Targets have been adopted at the global, regional, and national level to increase the levels of marine protection. The three most recently adopted global targets are:
- 2002: Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD): committed to establishing a global representative network of MPAs by 2012 (Section IV, paragraph 32(c))
- 2003: World Parks Congress: recommended to establish networks of marine protected areas, including strictly protected areas covering at least 20-30% of each habitat by 2012 (Recommendation 5.23)
- 2006: Convention on Biological Diversity: at least 10% of each of the world’s ecological regions within areas under national jurisdiction be effectively conserved by 2010 (Decision VIII/15, Annex IV)
However, these targets were adopted with very limited prior knowledge of the existing global MPA network, and were adopted without any assessment of the feasibility of the targets.
A recent study (Wood et al, 2008) showed that the annual rate of growth in global marine area protected is around 5%. Projecting this into the future indicates that at this rate of growth, even the most conservative target will not be met for decades, rather than within the coming decade. These data suggest that another 35 countries would need to create MPAs the size of Phoenix Islands Protected Area in the next 2 years for even the smallest target to be met on time! This highlights a critical need for us to develop and implement a clear global framework to accelerate our progress towards achieving these goals and protecting planet ocean.
Reproduced by kind permission of Oryx from Wood, L. J., Fish, L., Laughren, J., Pauly, D. (2008). Assessing progress towards global marine protection targets: shortfalls in information and action. Oryx 42(3): 1-12.
In addition to these global-scale targets, other targets have been adopted at regional, and in some countries, at the national level. Search our commitment tracker to see what target(s) your country has committed to! If you know of a commitment in your country or region, but that is not listed in our database, please send us an email so that we can add it to the database.
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