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Progress Towards Protected Area Targets

Protected Area targets have been set globally, regionally, and sometimes at a country level. The global targets for all countries that are signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets are that

at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes by 2020.

Regionally, the Micronesia Challenge aims to effectively conserve at least 30% of near-shore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. An example of a country-based target is Fiji that aims to have 30% of reefs protected by 2015 and 30% of waters managed as a marine protected area network by 2020.

Below are various efforts that have been carried out to assess progress (global and regional) towards Aichi protected area targets. The paper by Govan (2009) is the most comprehensive assessment of marine protected areas (MPAs), including all LMAs in the Pacific Islands. Govan’s data has now been incorporated into the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).  Several of the papers below attempt to assess progress towards targets which relate to factors such as management effectiveness, biodiversity coverage, governance and finance etc. 

Status of Large Marine Protected Areas in the Pacific

Keep current on the expansion of large marine protected areas (MPA)in the Pacific.  MPAtlas is a good source of information.  Big Ocean is also a source of information on the status of large marine protected areas.

Status of Policy and Target Development and Implementation for Marine Protected Areas/Marine Managed Areas in the Pacific Islands Region - A Preliminary Assessment and Future Directions

Benzaken, D., Miller-Taei, S.,  Wood, L. 2007. Status of Policy and Target Development and Implementation for Marine Protected Areas/Marine Managed Areas in the Pacific Islands Region - A Preliminary Assessment and Future Directions

Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets

In decision X/2, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held from 18 to 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period.

This plan provides an overarching framework on biodiversity, not only for the biodiversity-related conventions, but for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development.

The PNG-METT: A method for assessing effectiveness in Papua New Guinea’s protected areas, August 2017

In 2015–2017, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), through its Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA) and with the support of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), organised an evaluation of its protected areas, as part of the process to improve management effectiveness. PNG’s Policy on Protected Areas commits to regular evaluation of management effectiveness and to taking remedial action to improve effectiveness over time. ‘Management effectiveness of Protected Areas will be regularly evaluated on a national basis, and improvements will be put into place based on assessment results.

Tonga - Rapid Biodiversity Assessment (BIORAP) of the Vava'u Archipelago

WCMC Report on Achievements for the Year 2015

What are we actually protecting in the ocean?

What are we actually protecting in the ocean?

The authors contend in this National Geographic Ocean Views blog that most marine species are not well represented within MPAs and several hundred species are not covered at all.  The blog summarizes their article in Natures's Scientific Reports:

What is a Marine Protected Area?

What is a Marine Protected Area?

NOAA's National Ocean Service explains that marine protected areas (MPAs) in the U.S. come in a variety of forms and are established and managed by all levels of government. There are marine sanctuaries, estuarine research reserves, ocean parks, and marine wildlife refuges. Each of these sites differ. MPAs may be established to protect ecosystems, preserve cultural resources such as shipwrecks and archaeological sites, or sustain fisheries production.

World Database on Protected Areas

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global spatial dataset on marine and terrestrial protected areas available.

Protected areas are internationally recognised as major tools in conserving species and ecosystems. Up to date information on protected areas is essential to enable a wide range of conservation and development activities.

World Database on Protected Areas - Manual

Manual - World Database on Protected Areas

·        The WDPA User Manual 1.3 is now available in English, French and Spanish:

·        Le Manuel d’utilisation de la Base de données mondiale sur les aires protégées 1.3 est maintenant disponible en anglais, français et espagnol:


World Heritage Outlook

World Heritage Outlook

The IUCN World Heritage Outlook provides an independent assessment of the state of conservation of our natural heritage and its potential to be maintained in the future. It shows World Heritage sites have a role in demonstrating excellence and becoming leaders in nature conservation. Simply explore the map above or use the filtered search to discover more about the conservation outlook of natural World Heritage sites.