Marine protected areas

Why is this an issue for ACOPS?

Marine protected areas (MPAs) can provide refuge for threatened and endangered marine biodiversity, as well as serving as scientific reference areas.  Global targets for MPA coverage have been set under the auspices  of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.

There are significant knowledge gaps concerning those species and habitats worthy of protection.  Work is underway to develop ecologically coherent networks of MPAs.

Many of the organisations that ACOPS works with have their own systems to limit the activities they oversee within set aside areas for marine protection (e.g., ISA, IMO).

ACOPS activity

ACOPS is an Observer to the OSPAR Commission, the Regional Seas Convention for the Protection of the Environment of the North-East Atlantic.

Future intentions

ACOPS will help States and Competent International Organisations work towards meeting their commitments under Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and Sustainable Development Goal 14, Target 14.5 and in compliance with international law.

Subject to resources, ACOPS will participate in meetings of the OSPAR Intersessional Correspondence Group on MPAs.

In 2017 ACOPS convened a House of Lords dialogue to discuss UK MPAs and marine protected areas in UK Overseas territories and High Seas.