Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas

The challenge

Only 7% of the ocean is protected. Many marine reserves are poorly managed or represent standalone efforts with little integration between them. Yet these ‘parks in the sea’ should be seen as part of a country’s infrastructure, ensuring a sustainable tourism industry and food from the sea. Addressing this is key to restoring ocean ecosystems while generating and safeguarding the businesses, communities, jobs, and livelihoods that rely on healthy seas.

The action track

Achieve ambitious marine protection targets by driving concerted, public-private cooperation across geographies and sectors on the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and monitoring and mobilising governments and institutions to coordinate their approach to MPAs and partnering with key stakeholders to set-up and champion a game-changing new MPA platform


SDG 14.5



National Geographic

Convention on Biodiversity (CBD)

Global Fishing Watch

Local stakeholders


Engage partners and identify pathway to 2020 target

Convened experts and contributors to discuss objectives and strategy

Agreed on targets and enablers for ambitious 2020 and 2030 outcomes

Engaged and aligned with CBD to ensure full the Friends of Ocean Action support for Aichi targets realization and ambition raising to 2030

Advanced discussions to develop an open data application for MPAs to support and improve quality of MPAs management

Advanced discussions to secure additional funding for MPAs monitoring tools

Explored opportunities to further engage fora related to the high seas and Antarctica to increase the MPAs coverage and contribute in shifting political approach on this


Develop new MPA platform

Raise awareness on the work the Friends are carrying out on MPAs and the opportunities ahead, including a call for 30% of the Ocean to be protected by 2030

Map existing initiatives and scope potential collaborators, both for identifying new areas for potential MPA designations as well as tools for better monitoring and enforcement

Develop a business case to highlight economic opportunities and financial risks linked to MPAs

Use the business case to identify key business champions (target: 5)

Develop MPA platform: a comprehensive solution for marine spatial planning, monitoring and data dissemination for effective MPA implementation

Identify user case projects in specific hotspots to test implementation progress

Support and socialize the need for a science-based global consistent and integrated framework for MPAs

Help international community shift to a more coordinated, effective and strategic network of MPAs

Develop strategy for the Friends of Ocean Action’s political engagement in priority for a

Launch MPA data platform user case

Engage World Bank and its Pro Blue Fund and develop financing models/blended finance


Showcase MPA benefits and progress towards ambitious 2030 target

10% SDG 14 target is met on schedule

MPA platform is being piloted in key hotspots in partnership with governments and local stakeholders (starting with SIDS)

Showcase MPA benefits for economy, society and cultures

Make significant progress in establishing a target of 30% Ocean protected by 2030, including through innovative tech and financial models

Business coalition for MPAs to be announced at the UN Ocean Conference in 2020

Other action tracks