01 Oct 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 01 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
Increase in marine protected areas reduces pressure on marine habitats and species
A new Commission report published today shows significant progress in establishing protected areas in Europe’s seas, with benefits for the economy and the environment. Marine protected areas act as a nature conservation tool to safeguard habitats and species, which are experiencing a decrease in their population, and the benefits that derive from ecosystems, such as coastal protection, flood management and tourism. Under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the EU has committed to ensuring the conservation of 10% of its coastal and marine areas by 2020. The report finds that Europe has made significant progress in this direction. In 2012, 5.9% of Europe’s seas had already been designated as marine protected areas to form a European network, which continues to expand since then. The Commission supports Member States to designate, manage and control marine protected areas through the LIFE Programme and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, while promoting marine research and inclusive governance structures for the network. This objective is also reflected in Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. The EU will participate in 2016, in negotiations for an agreement to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, with a view to improving the criteria for designating and managing protected areas in the high seas.
Read today’s Daily News in full: Daily News 01 – 10 – 2015