SAAMBR supports IUCN motion for greater protected areas in the oceans

  • 21 September 2016 | Judy Mann, conservation strategist | Category: Conservation

Members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the World Conservation Congress held from 1 – 10 September in Hawaii, voted in favour of a motion that urges member states to increase their protection of the oceans. The motion calls attention to the many challenges facing our oceans – overfishing and pollution to ocean acidification and warming – all of which are having a negative impact.

Judy Mann with one of the ocean exhibits at this year's IUCN World Conservation Congress

 

However, there is still hope, and evidence from Oceanographic Research Institute scientists working in South African Marine Protected Areas, together with that of scientists from around the world, indicates that Marine Protected Areas are important tools that help to conserve critical habitats and ecosystems. Critically, it is these oceans systems that support human life.

The motion encourages IUCN state and government agency members to designate and implement at least 30% of each marine habitat, in a network of highly protected MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures, to creating a fully sustainable ocean at least 30% of which has no extractive activities. This is an ambitious target and it will take the collective efforts of all involved in ocean matters to work together to achieve it.

Messages shared by delegates at the IUCN World Conservation Congress held in Hawaii

SAAMBR’s conservation strategist Judy Mann, who attended the congress, said, "The debates about the motion were sometimes heated, but ultimately the process enabled all voices to be heard. Marine Protected Areas are a critical tool for conservation but they are also not well understood. In addition to providing valuable scientific evidence to contribute to the design of Marine Protected Areas, SAAMBR also plays a critical role in helping people to understand the value of protected areas."

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