Seas and oceans offer huge biodiversity, play an indispensable role in climate change mitigation, and provide food and employment to people. Certain structures such as coral reefs and seagrass meadows protect the coasts against storms and flooding. Coastal areas provide a nursery habitat for many ecologically and economically important species. The ocean is a source of food through fisheries and aquaculture.
What policies exist for the marine environment?
Under this header, you can find a non-exhaustive list of policies for the marine environment. A few overarching policies exist, and it is also embedded within the framework of other (environmental) and funding mechanisms.
EUROPARC and the Marine Environment
At EUROPARC Federation, we support the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy and its aim for 30% of Marine Protected Areas with 10% strictly protected. We would like to stress that to get there, sufficient management is crucial. Next to keeping up with the different EU policies regarding the marine environment, we want to support our members in concrete ways.
An effective tool to use is the abovementioned Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). To strengthen the training EUROPARC is the lead partner of the LIFE ENABLE project. This project aims to strengthen the toolkit of Marine Protected Areas by capacity building.
Learn more on EUROPARCs viewpoint on the role of local and regional authorities in protecting the marine environment.
Do you want to know more about establishing your own Marine Protected Area? Discover the three main steps from this case study in Scotland!
The High Seas
While the high seas lie outside of national boundaries, the current policy work on creating Protected Areas in international waters is interesting and our members may be called upon to share their knowledge and expertise as the plans progress. For more on this topic, visit the page concerning the UN High Seas Treaty (also known as Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction).
Check out this video on the importance of the ocean: