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MPA Action Group: Global Partnership to improve management effectiveness and sustainability of a global portfolio of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Locally Managed Marine Areas (L/MMAs) .
by MPA Action Agenda & MPA Action Group (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
The CBDs Aichi Target 11 calls for 10% of coastal and marine areas to be conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. The establishment and effective management of marine protected areas that are multi-scale, globally, ecologically and geographically representative and ecologically networked is integral to achieving the SDGs. This was reinforced by SDG Target 14.5, and would also support Targets 14.2, 14.4, 14.7, 14.b and 14.c and would bolster a number of other SDG targets (e.g. 1: No Poverty; 2: Zero Hunger; 13: Climate Action).

The protection of critical habitats, such as coral reefs and mangroves, supports marine biodiversity and improves resilience toward anthropogenic pressures and natural disasters. The social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits deriving from the protection of biodiversity, including through MPAs, as effective area-based management tools, are among the basic building blocks on which to advance sustainable development, including increased food security, livelihood options, and greater resilience in the face of climate change.

Despite some progress toward the Aichi Target 11 and SDG14, there are still major gaps in area coverage, ecological representativeness, connectivity, management effectiveness and financing, as reported at the 4th edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (2014) and more recent assessments. Achievement of this target should also be considered a milestone towards even more ambitious action in line with scientific recommendations to strongly protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030 subject to the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

The above signed partners of the MPA Action Group are well positioned and ready to collectively assist countries in achieving their global and national commitments to create MPAs. With the robust expertise on coastal and marine protected areas, including through participatory approaches, that this group holds, its partners will work in at least 50 MPAs and LMMAs over the next 12 years (by 2030) to measurably enhance management capacity, effectiveness and sustainability. We are also working to support the establishment of MPAs in areas beyond national jurisdictions the including through supporting the development of a strong legally-binding marine biodiversity treaty under the UNCLOS.

Where individual partners of the MPA Action Group are making their own programmatic and funding commitments in support of identification of important areas for protection, such as, for example, Key Biodiversity Areas, establishment and management of MPAs, the members commit to communicate and to the extent possible, coordinate on such commitments to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness, and to strive for greatest positive impact.

We will assist countries in delivering SDG14 related targets by:
- Supporting creation of new MPAs and improving the effectiveness of existing MPAs;
- Providing technical capacity to accelerate effective maintenance of MPAs and LMMAs;
- Documenting and communicating the contribution of these MPAs and LMMAs toward the achievement of sustainable development;
- Building management capacity of local communities and identify resource opportunities to support this;
- Fostering shared learning between MPA and LMMA managers through exchanges;
- Producing online training modules for MPA Management based on best practices;
- Communicating to the wider global community on the importance of all MPAs/LMMAs to coastal communities through an online platform Ocean Witness.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Coastal carbon sinks/blue carbon
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Other (please specify): MSP and MPAs/LMMAs
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
December 2017
Secure financial support , coupled with technical capacity , to 5 projects that will accelerate effective maintenance of MPAs in Calendar Year 2017.
December 2022
Document and communicate the contribution of these MPAs and LMMAs towards the achievement of sustainable development with at least two summary presentations at successive international fora by 2022.
December 2030
Make technical capacity available in country to accelerate effective maintenance of at least 50 MPAs and LMMAs by 2030.
December 2030
Foster shared learning between MPA and LMMA managers through exchanges on online platforms and communicate, and to the extent practicable, coordinate on individual programs and funding relating to MPA establishment, expansion, management and enforcement.
Other, please specify
Funding for MPAs/LMMA management.
Staff / Technical expertise
Funding of MPA and community LMMA Managers.
In-kind contribution
STaff time from the the partners to implement commitment.
Basic information
Time-frame: January 2016 - December 2030
1. Birdlife International (NGO) 2. Blue Marine Foundation (NGO) 3. Conservation International (NGO) 4. CORDIO East Africa (NGO) 5. Global Ocean Trust (NGO) 6. International Union for COnservation of Nature: IUCN (IGO) 7. Marine Conservation Institute (NGO) 8. Marine Affairs Research and Education: MARE (NGO) 9. Oceana (NGO) 10. Ocean Unite (NGO) 11. Oceano Azul Foundation 12. Rare (NGO) 13. The High Seas Alliance (NGO) 14. The Nature Conservancy:TNC (NGO) 15. Waitt Foundation (Foundation/NGO) & Waitt Institute (NGO) 16. Wildlife Conservation Society: WCS(NGO) 17. World Wide Fund for Nature: WWF (NGO).
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Malou van Kempen, Coordinator, MPA Action Group , mkempen@wwf.nl, +316 28024155
Zeist, The Netherlands.
Other SDGs
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