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Maritime Forum

Map of the Week - Marine Protected Areas

This map shows the ratio of Marine Protected Area (MPA) and terrestrial area for each European country. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been set up across the ocean to protect vulnerable species and ecosystems, to conserve biodiversity and...


The United Nations (UN) Biodiversity Conference is taking place from 7 to 19 December 2022 in Montreal (Canada) and includes the

  • Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);
  • Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 10); and
  • Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (NP-MOP 4).

The main objective of COP15 is to adopt the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The framework provides a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. The first draft of the framework, released in July 2021, builds on lessons learned from the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It recognizes that urgent policy action globally, regionally and nationally is required to transform economic, social and financial models so the trends that have exacerbated biodiversity loss will stabilize by 2030 and allow for the recovery of natural ecosystems, with net improvements by 2050. [1] During COP15, a wide range of associated events will be taking place allowing participants and stakeholders to share knowledge, explore collaborations, and build capacity to address the biodiversity crisis. A number of events and activities are being held within the Conference security perimeter (the so-called Blue Zone), and accessible to duly accredited COP observer organizations, and other events and activities are held outside the Blue Zone and accessible to accredited and non-accredited actors and the public in general.

In its role as coordinator of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO will be hosting a flagship ocean event at COP15 on 16 December 2022 titled ‘AN OCEAN OF LIFE: Knowledge and Solutions for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity under the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’. This event will explore the challenges and opportunities to move from knowledge to action in marine and coastal ecosystems in the context of the post-2020 Framework. A new publication highlighting the role of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in achieving the ambitions of the post-2020 Framework will also be released.

Speaking of marine biodiversity, did you know there is a map layer on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the European Atlas of the Seas? MPAs provide a public focus for marine conservation and are commonly used around the world as management tools to promote the sustainable use of marine resources. Many MPAs also serve as living laboratories – critical to scientific research and discoveries that benefit humanity. When effectively managed, MPAs support the blue economy by helping to sustain fish stocks and bolstering tourism. Dive into the Map of the Week and click on the countries to see how the ratio of MPAs and terrestrial area has evolved over the past years.

Access the map

The data in the map are provided by Eurostat.