UK government makes ambitious call to treble internationally-agreed targets for ocean protection.

  • UK calls for third of world’s oceans to be safeguarded by 2030
  • Current global targets for protected areas to treble under ambitious plans
  • Marine protection top of agenda at UN General Assembly in New York

Defra ‘Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today called for a third of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030. Globally, less than 10 per cent of the world’s seas are currently designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – one of the most important ways to protect precious sea life and habitats from damaging activity.

Now, the UK is backing ambitious calls to treble internationally-agreed targets for protected areas, meaning 30 per cent of the world’s seas would be safeguarded as MPAs by 2030. This will build on the UK’s global leadership in protecting the marine environment – with over 200,000 square miles of Britain’s coastline already protected and recent proposals for 41 new Marine Conservation Zones marking the most significant expansion of the ‘Blue Belt’ to date.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

Protection of our oceans is a global challenge which requires global action. The UK has already safeguarded vast swathes of precious marine habitats, but we must go further. Only by working together can we protect our shared home and ensure our marine life continues to be a source of awe and wonder for future generations. The UK’s ambitious calls also coincide with the United Nations General Assembly, where countries have gathered in New York to discuss protection for our oceans.

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