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The Conservation Planning Database

A new global database to better guide marine conservation efforts

Over the next few decades, Marine Protected Area (MPAs) will become an increasingly common feature in oceans all over the world, growing in both number and extent. Behind this increase are new and more ambitious international policy targets. What’s more, there is a mounting recognition that we are facing a global marine biodiversity crisis.

This increase in protection is welcome. Especially as it is clear how much our oceans and their inhabitants need and benefit from it. But there are also concerns that the push for quantity is undermining quality, with new MPAs tending to concentrate in residual parts of the oceans where there is limited potential for extractive uses and least need for protection. Although the spirit of the 10% Aichi target is to protect places that would otherwise be threatened (Convention on Biological Diversity), there is a risk that countries are gaming international targets by adding still more residual MPAs. The challenge now is in making the expansion of MPA systems count for biodiversity conservation and other planning objectives.

Continue reading article in the November/December issue for ECO magazine by following this link.

Words by Jorge G. Álvarez-Romero, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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