Strategy group in planning

Marine Protected Areas | Multi-Use


Marine science has firmly established that the future of humanity is closely linked to the usage of the marine realm. The greatly accelerated use of coastal and shelf seas, but also the high seas, and the concomitant “race for space” is particularly concerning. NGOs as well as many governments and science groups are calling for urgent additional measures to protect the ocean and seas. One of the most-used tools is the designation of “Marine Protected Areas” (MPAs). TheWorld Conservation Union(IUCN) has observed the following: 

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) involve the protective management of natural areas according to pre-defined management objectives. MPAs can be conserved for a number of reasons including economic resources, biodiversity conservation, and species protection. They are created by delineating zones with permitted and non-permitted uses within that zone.

It is vital to have in depth knowledge of the area so as to define ecological boundaries and set objectives for the MPA. It is also important to have the support of the public and established techniques for surveillance and monitoring of compliance. IUCN [advocates expanding] the MPA network through reliable science and by engaging with local stakeholders.

Effective MPAs not only protect biodiversity, provide marine refuges for economically-valuable species, enhance food webs, but they also provide standards for the type of healthy ecosystems that the Sustainable Development Goals aspire to. As a result, the discussion, designation, implementation and long-term maintenance of MPAs is extremely complex, time- and resource-consuming. While effective MPAs require effective management, any management of these, often remote areas, requires dedicated science from a multitude of disciplines to provide pivotal data and knowledge as well as new methodologies. This science should continually strive to higher levels of informed debate within relevant decision-making processes. 

The KDM Marine Protected Areas Strategy Group is proposed as a forum for discussion and prioritisation of science to support effective marine protected areas. The SG will be inclusive and involve environmental scientists, marine engineers, microbiologists, monitoring experts and social scientists, etc. NGOs and government agencies will also be invited as appropriate. Experts from NGOs and government agencies will also be invited as needed. The group will focus on MPAs inside and outside the German EEZ. 

The group aims to: 

  1. identify urgent scientific issues, 
  2. deliver strategic science advice, 
  3. identify experts on scientific questions in different disciplines related to MPA issues in marine management, and
  4. help drive a science-based dialogue at national, European and global levels concerning the future multi-use ocean agenda.