Enhancing MPAs’ role in restoring biodiversity while maintaining access to ecosystem services


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Project coordinator: David LUSSEAU -

Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark - Denmark

Island Research and Environmental Observatory (CRIOBE), EPHE/CNRS/Perpignan University France
Research, Madeira Whale Museum-Municipality of Machico Portugal
Evolutionary Biology, Spanish National Research Council Spain
Nonlinear Dynamics and Evolution, Mathematical Research Center Spain
Aquatic Resources, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden


Currently, there are more than 17,000 marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world covering close to 9% of the oceans. Yet, only 23% of them have a clear management plan and only about 1% of them have had management effectiveness evaluations. Such management plans are crucial for the success of MPAs, but the development and implementation of those plans often meet financial and infrastructure obstacles. Even if guidelines exist, they do not systematically explain how to measure, monitor, and manage trade-offs between biodiversity targets and socio-economic impacts of MPAs. Particularly, there are currently no guidelines for developing adaptive plans to ensure the transformative change that MPAs are to bring for ecosystem restoration and conservation, biodiversity improvement, and to meet UN SDG targets. This is the key gap mpa4sustainability will address by conceptualising MPAs as interventions on complex socio-ecological systems and trying to appraise how they affect their journeys towards sustainability.

Reference documents

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project and other projects funded in response to the BiodivRestore joint call consult:

Name Link
MPA4Sustainability project

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BiodivRestore funded projects booklet Download pdf

Keywords: SDG14, SDG15, socioecology, Marine Protected Area, sustainability, Blue economy, ecosystem services, tipping points, ecological modelling, management

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published on 2021/10/15 10:29:00 GMT+1 last modified 2022-08-31T11:25:28+01:00