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Communities of Ocean Action
Marine and coastal ecosystems management
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Introduction
Diverse area-based measures and management tools can be used to sustainably manage, protect, conserve and restore marine ecosystems, including for example the application of ecosystem approaches, marine spatial planning, integrated coastal zone management and the establishment of marine protected areas, consistent with international law and based on best available scientific information, including representative networks. The main purpose of these measures is to sustainably manage, protect, conserve and restore coastal and marine areas and resources, including underwater cultural heritage, while also supporting economically valuable activities and having important social impacts. The global extent of MPAs has grown steadily and in 2014 covered approximately 3.4% (12.3 million km2) of the global ocean, with decreasing numbers of MPAs at greater distances from the shoreline. Area-based management is seen as one of the key tools for delivering SDG 14 and for providing for both ocean conservation and a variety of sustainable uses, while alleviating conflicts between users of ocean space.

More than 130 voluntary commitments relate to marine protected areas, and over 30 commitments include marine spatial planning. Large marine ecosystems (LMEs) feature in 20 commitments, while at least five include community-based marine management. Many of these commitments include increasing the area protected or sustainably managed.

This Community of Ocean Action aims to support its members in implementing their area-based management-related voluntary commitments by exchanging progress reports, experiences, lessons learned and good practices.
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Focal points
  • Ms. Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director for Oceans, The Nature Conservancy
  • Ms. Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
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