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Marine Protected Areas: Securing Benefits for Sustainable Development

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This is an optional reading for Week 3 of the Introduction to Resilience for Development MOOC (Part 2: Applying Resilience Thinking to National Biodiversity Plans).

At the United Nations Ocean Conference in June 2017, Member States reaffirmed their obligation to conserve and responsibly use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Promoting the use of effective and appropriate areabased management tools, such as marine protected areas, was among the renewed pledges. Marine protected areas offer one of the best options for maintaining healthy oceans. In the last decade, countries around the world have progressively taken actions to designate new, or to enlarge existing, marine protected areas to safeguard natural resources and ecological functions. To date, around 14.4 per cent of the world’s coastal and marine areas under national jurisdictions are declared protected. This signals the commitment of the global community to safeguard these precious ecosystems.

For marine protected areas to be truly effective, however, they also require strong governance that involves relevant users and stakeholders, influences their behaviour, and ultimately reduces the impacts that result from extractive practices. The Frontiers 2017 report argues that effective sharing of costs and benefits of marine protected areas is an essential step to ensure genuine sustainable development.

Please see attachment (Chapter 3: Marine Protected Areas: Securing Benefits for Sustainable Development).

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