An effective regional Marine Protected Area network for the ROPME Sea Area: Unrealistic vision or realistic possibility?

An effective regional Marine Protected Area network for the ROPME Sea Area: Unrealistic vision or realistic possibility?

Van Lavieren, H., & Klaus, R. (2013). An effective regional Marine Protected Area network for the ROPME Sea Area: Unrealistic vision or realistic possibility?. Marine pollution bulletin, 72(2), 389-405.

Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) targets aim to encourage the establishment of an effective global network of MPAs covering 10% of coastal and marine ecoregions by 2020. This paper presents findings from the first ever regional assessment of MPA management effectiveness in the ROPME (Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment) Sea Area (RSA). The RSA, extends from the Gulf to the Arabian Sea coast of Oman, and is bordered by 8 member states, including some of the world’s richest and fastest growing global economies. There are 173 MPAs covering 7.8% of the RSA (36,182.03 km2). Progress towards CBD MPA targets is lower as: (i) stated area coverages often include a terrestrial component; (ii) only 37% are legally ‘Designated’ (5.4% RSA), while 73% remain ‘Proposed’ (2.4% RSA) and; (iii) assessment of management effectiveness revealed variable levels of performance (11% to 58%, with an average of 34%). Underlying causes for low performance are discussed and recommendations are offered to help RSA member states meet CBD MPA targets by 2020.