Marine protected areas approach 3% of global ocean cover

Wildlife News
24 October, 2013

New maps have been released by the International Union of Nature Conservation (IUCN) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which show that 2.8% of the world’s oceans are now protected conservation zones. The maps were produced from data kept by the World Database on Protected Areas. The figures show that the 2010 agreement to protect 10% of the worlds oceans by 2020 is on target.

It’s encouraging to see the progress we’ve made so far,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme. “Protecting less than 3% of the ocean is still not enough to ensure its sustainable conservation. However, if we continue to increase this area by one percent each year, we should be able to reach the agreed 10% by 2020. We’re hoping that this map will make this process much more efficient.”

The maps are available for public download and lets interested parties keep track of the actions being taken to reach the target.

The maps show which counties are doing well in protecting the marine environment. Much of the rise in protected areas though seem to be concentrated in large off-shore marine reserves rather than smaller coastal waters which also need protecting. Australia in particular have made a major contribution towards the 2.8% of protected areas.

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