One third of the Oceana MedNet proposals coincide with ecologically significant areas selected by the United Nations

Oceana has taken part in the definition of priority areas for conservation of the Mediterranean which are being presented in the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Press Release Date: October 10, 2012

Location: Madrid


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Oceana has provided the United Nations with scientific information obtained in various areas of the Mediterranean, which will be examined in the 11ª Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is taking place in Hyderabad (India). The data provided, together with the information contributed by other organisations and institutions, have made it possible to identify the marine most ecologically or biologically significant areas. One third of the locations proposed by MedNet, the network designed by Oceana, are found in the areas selected for the Mediterranean.

During the meeting, the progress of the Aichi Targets will be examined. The Aichi Targets establish that, by 2020, at least 10% of global marine and coastal areas must be preserved by means of protected area networks. However, according to data published in 2012, until now only 1.6% of the world oceans are protected.

In this respect, Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe, says that “the main obstacle to fulfilling the CBD commitment is the lack of political will, which continually delays global conservation targets” and adds, “We are very far from achieving the Aichi targets, and for years now experts have warned us that the pace in declaration of marine protected areas is too slow, to such an extent that they will not be achieved until 2067. In fact, governments are breaching their obligations with impunity”.

Oceana has collaborated providing the information obtained by means of its expediciones in Chella Bank, Seco de Palos, the Majorca Channel seamounts, the Minorca submarine canyon (Spain), as well as the Aceste and Enareta seamounts in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy), where habitats and species of an indisputable ecological value, worthy of protection, have been discovered.

According to Pilar Marín, an Oceana marine scientist, “Protection of the world’s oceans, and particularly of such damaged areas as the Mediterranean, requires urgent progress towards halting the loss of biodiversity and improving ecosystem productivity”, adding “It is necessary to insist on the need of applying international recommendations, and for this reason Oceana is working on innovative proposals, such as  MedNet, a network of marine protected areas for the Mediterranean which was designed following the principles and criteria set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity”.