Protected Area Targets
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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.
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted 20 targets, known as the Aichi Targets, to benchmark progress towards protecting biodiversity. These targets include Target 11 relating to Marine Protected Area coverage and the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the accepted international database for tracking national commitments to this target. However, measuring national progress towards conservation targets relies on sound data. This paper highlights the large-scale misrepresentation, by up to two orders of magnitude, of national marine protected area coverage from two Pacific Island nations in multiple online databases and subsequent reports, including conclusions regarding achievements of Aichi 11 commitments.
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:
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.
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.
· The WDPA User Manual 1.3 is now available in English, French and Spanish: http://wcmc.io/Manual_ver1_3
· Le Manuel d’utilisation de la Base de données mondiale sur les aires protégées 1.3 est maintenant disponible en anglais, français et espagnol: http://wcmc.io/Manual_ver1_3
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.
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