A number of countries signed up to be involved with the Global Ocean Alliance at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, including Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Vanuatu, Portugal, Palau, Kenya, Seychelles, Belize and Belgium.
The intention is to ensure that at least 30% of the global ocean is assigned Marine Protected Area (MPA) status by 2030 through the 30by30 initiative, and that more than 50% of UK and its Overseas Territory waters are protected by 2020. These protections help vulnerable marine species to thrive, and can help fight climate change by protecting key carbon habitats such as mangrove forests and seagrass meadows.
Less than 10% of the world’s ocean is currently designated as an MPA, but research shows that these areas are one of the most important ways to protect sea life from damaging activities. Evidence supports a target of at least 30% to reverse existing damage, allow fish populations to recuperate and sustain long-term ocean health.