Policy ForumOcean

Making waves: The science and politics of ocean protection

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Science  23 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6259, pp. 382-383
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5443

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  1. Increases in global MPA coverage over time.

    The line graph shows increasing MPA area. MPAs and year established are shown below the x axis. Data include formal commitments for large MPAs made in mid-2015. Bar graphs (decadal from 1960 to 2010, plus 2015) show percent ocean surface area that is strongly or fully protected (dark blue) out of the total percent MPA coverage (light blue). Circled numbers highlight key international events or agreements: 1) First AAAS Marine Reserves Symposium; 2) First NCEAS Marine Reserves Working Group; 3) UN World Summit on Sustainable Development; 4) Vth IUCN World Parks Congress; 5) UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); 6) CBD, Aichi Targets; 7) UN SDG 14. Chagos MR currently in negotiation (see SM). GBRMP, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park; PRIMNM, Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; MP, Marine Park; MR, Marine Reserve; MTMNM, Marianas Trench Marine National Monument; OS, Ocean Sanctuary; PEI MPA, Prince Edward Islands Marine Protected Area; PIPA, Phoenix Islands Protected Area; PMNM, Papahāanaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Pre-2015 data from World Database on Protected Areas and MPAtlas, collated by R. Moffitt, and from (6). Mid-2015 large MPA data compiled by authors from data made public as formal MPA commitments are announced. See SM for MPA sizes.


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