National Marine Protected Areas Center
New global partnership to elevate marine protected areas as tool in climate response
The United States, United Kingdom, Chile, Costa Rica, and France announced a new global partnership to advance the role of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a nature-based solution in the fight against climate change. The announcement comes ahead of the United Nations climate change (COP 26) and biodiversity (COP 15) conferences later this year.
This report and story map summarizes U.S. contributions towards six key aspects of successful marine protected area (MPA) networks. The U.S. has established nearly 1,000 MPAs (as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)) to protect important places in our ocean, estuaries, coastal waters, and Great Lakes. Scientists and managers have identified the following characteristics for networks of MPAs to achieve conservation outcomes:
- Area protected
- Ecologically representative
- Ecologically connected
- Other effective conservation measures (that are not MPAs)
- Effectively and equitably managed MPAs
- Integrated into the wider seascape
The role of ecological connectivity in the effective design and management of marine protected area (MPA) networks is gaining attention in the field of marine conservation. This document provides an introduction to ecological connectivity in MPAs while highlighting information needed to fully capitalize on this important ecological process for more effective and resilient MPAs.