Progress towards the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans: how are we doing? Securing the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity has long been recognised as a critical global-scale challenge. Many international policy frameworks, most notably the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals, feature targets focused on marine biodiversity. These include global targets for both marine protected area (MPA) coverage and the extent of the sustainable management of marine ecosystems. The concern for marine biodiversity also extends to areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), with a UN-led process currently seeking to identify a mechanism under the Law of the Sea Convention to establish procedures for marine protected area designation and environmental impact assessment in ABNJ. This presentation will discuss performance against global targets, including sharing the latest global MPA coverage figures within and beyond national jurisdiction. These global trends will be contrasted with terns towards localised growth in pressure on marine resources, the strengthening blue growth paradigm, and the increasing recognition of the role of individual citizen behaviour as marine conservation agents.


Dr Steve Fletcher is Head of the Marine Programme at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK. His team undertakes interdisciplinary marine research to support national and international policy efforts to achieve the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. Steve is also Associate Professor in Marine Policy at Plymouth University and has recently been appointed to the UNEP International Resource Panel which advises intergovernmental organisations and the international community on the sustainable use of natural resources. He has personal interests in international marine policy and conservation.