Nations have agreed to set aside 10 percent of marine and coastal waters as protected areas by 2020, a substantial increase over the approximately 1 percent that is currently so designated, but significantly less than some nations and many environmental organizations had been demanding.
Meeting at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, delegates debated a wide range of competing figures. The European Union initially insisted on 20 percent, but China countered with 6 percent, while several other nations suggested 15 percent.
Specifically, the agreement states that, “By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascapes.”
The agreement “gives instruction such as where marine protected areas are established, how those areas are designated, how those areas should be protected and by whom,” said Wakoa Hanaoka of Greenpeace Japan. However, he continued, “At the very least, the target should be 20 percent.”
For Further Information: The official CBD website is available at http://www.cbd.int/.