Marine Protected Areas: A fundamental tool for long-term ocean biodiversity protection and sustainable management
06 June 2013 | Article
Statement IUCN - WCPA
This statement is a response to discussions on the designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marne Living Resources (CCAMLR), which recently introduced a debate about time-limits for MPA designations. The IUCN defines a protected area as “A clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”.
The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA) underscores two important elements of effective MPA designation and management:
• Individual MPAs and MPA networks in their entirety, particularly in areas where ecosystem health is already impacted, or in areas with fragile, slow growing, vulnerable species - such as polar regions - should be long-term permanent commitments; and
• Individual MPAs within permanent MPA networks need appropriate review mechanisms to allow for flexible and adaptive management.