Good News Notes:
“The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet, a total of 139 million square miles. An initiative launched on Tuesday aims to protect 5% of it in the next five years.
That might sound like a drop, but at 7 million square miles, it’s a larger area than the entire continent of South America. And considering that by some estimates
less than 3% of global ocean is currently fully protected, both the target and the timeframe is ambitious.
The initiative, named the Blue Nature Alliance, has “a very audacious goal,” says M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, one of the organizations leading the program. “It’s probably the largest single conservation effort in terms of size and speed.”
Oceans are integral to human survival, helping to regulate rainfall, weather, and even oxygen levels in the air. But increasingly they are under threat from climate change, pollution, and overfishing.
A collaboration between Conservation International and other environmental and social non-profits — including The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Global Environment Facility, Minderoo Foundation, and the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation — the Blue Nature Alliance has raised $125 million to protect the ocean from these threats.
The Alliance has started by targeting seven ocean locations around Antarctica, Fiji, Canada, the Seychelles, Palau, the Western Indian Ocean and Tristan da Cunha, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Those areas cover over 2.5 million square miles in total — more than a third of the overall goal.
It says it will begin by focusing on conservation in these areas, working with local communities and national leaders to establish new marine protected areas (MPAs), and improve the management of existing ones.
an MPA should be somewhere where “there is no large-scale commercial fishing, there’s a management plan, there’s a monitoring plan, and there’s inclusion of local communities.”
According to the
Marine Protection Atlas, around 7% of global oceans have been designated as protected areas, but only 2.7% is considered “fully protected.”
“Some of them are just in name only,” Sanjayan tells CNN, adding that the Blue Nature Alliance wants to fully implement and maintain these zones.