From the heat of the equator to the deep chills of the North and South poles, the ocean binds the planet together. Making up more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, it is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s known species, many of which still await discovery. But human activities are increasingly threatening its health.
Research shows that large, fully protected marine reserves are a key tool for addressing many challenges to ocean health. Reserves help conserve valuable biodiversity and protect traditional cultures closely linked to the sea.
In 2006, The Pew Charitable Trusts and several partners launched the Global Ocean Legacy project in an effort to establish the world’s first generation of great marine parks. In its 10 years of existence, Global Ocean Legacy helped to obtain commitments to safeguard more than 2.4 million square miles (6.3 million square kilometers) of ocean.
But even with these successes, less than 3 percent of the world’s ocean has strong protections. Recognizing that the International Union for Conservation of Nature recommends we need to protect 30 percent of our oceans, based on the best-available science, Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation have joined forces in a new partnership with the goal of increasing the number of fully protected parks in the sea from nine to 15 by 2022.
Safeguarding globally significant wildlife in the South Atlantic
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For centuries, many people took for granted the dazzling biodiversity of life on Earth. But as threats to our natural environments escalate and extinction rates increase, it’s time for humankind to work harder to preserve the breadth of species living here. Read More
Easter Island, a territory of Chile that lies some 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) west of that country’s coast, is world famous for its Moai statues, which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now the treasures off the shores of this remote island are safeguarded as well with the creation of the Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2018. The surrounding waters, which contain... Read More
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) are home to up to a quarter of the world’s penguins and some of the most diverse life on the planet. The SGSSI Government is reviewing the marine protections given to this area throughout 2018. Currently, only 2 percent of the SGSSI marine environment is fully protected from fishing, but the hope is the United Kingdom will upgrade the... Read More