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). The World 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.
This KDM Strategy Group Marine Protected Areas is being proposed as a forum for discussion and priority-setting for science in support of effective MPAs. The SG will be integrative, including Environmental scientists, Marine Engineers, Microbiologists, Observational experts and Social Scientists etc.. Experts from NGOs and government agencies will also be invited, as necessary. The group will focus on MPAs within and beyond the German EEZ.
The group aims to:
- identify urgent scientific issues,
- deliver strategic science advice,
- identify experts on scientific questions in different disciplines related to MPA issues in marine management, and
- help drive a science-based dialogue at national, European and global levels concerning the future multi-use ocean agenda.