Marine Protected Area by country … updates 2014 (and resulting reductions of Climate Debt)

Marine Protected Area by country … updates 2014 (and resulting reductions of Climate Debt)

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) is an umbrella term for protected seas, oceans or large lakes. The overall aim is to ensure environmental sustainability and reduce biodiversity loss. This is being pursued by setting restrictions on human development, fishing practices, fishing seasons, etc. Marine Protected Areas covers only 4% of the world’s oceans¹. The degree of protection ranges from very poor protection of more or less lifeless waters to full protection of marine reserves with precious biodiversity.

The table below includes the 82 countries with Climate Debt in ClimatePositions. Data on 199 countries’ are available in the menu ‘Calculations (Excel)’ or at the sources. Note that the 1990 area data has been modified at the source.

  • The first column in the table shows the Marine Protected Area as percentages of the total national marine areas (the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) stretching 370 km from the shoreline²) – see the world map below the table). The largest percentage is first.
  • The second column shows the percentage increase, since 1990 (this trend is an indicator in ClimatePositions).
  • The third column shows the updated per capita Climate Debt.
  • The fourth column indicates the reduction of Climate Debt, in percent, due to increased Marine Protected Areas, since 1990.
  • The fifth column indicates the reduction of Climate Debt, in million US$, due to increased Marine Protected Areas, since 1990.

The table reads as follows: 20.2% of Australia’s waters are protected today and 17.6% have been protected since 1990 (2.6% were protected in 1990). Due to this increase, the Australian Climate Debt is 3.8% smaller than would otherwise – the total saving is $6.1 billion. Read some critical and more general comments based on Australia (with the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas) below the world map at the bottom.


 

. . . . Reduction of Climate Debt Reduction of Climate Debt
. Marine Protection Increased protection Climate Debt per capita due to Marine Protection due to Marine Protection
. 2014 since 1990 (updated) (percent) in millions
. . . . . .
Finland 20.5% 16.4% $2,624 6.2% $851
Australia 20.2% 17.6% $7,277 3.8% $6,112
New Zealand 17.6% 13.6% $1,939 4.8% $406
Ecuador 10.5% 0.1% $85 0.0% $1
Estonia 8.2% 8.2% $465 4.4% $26
Dominican Rep. 8.1% 7.5% $67 6.1% $42
United States 7.3% 3.8% $6,361 1.4% $28,474
Netherlands 7.2% 5.7% $4,302 1.9% $1,364
South Africa 6.3% 6.3% $890 1.7% $719
Germany 6.1% 3.9% $1,680 2.4% $3,308
Italy 5.6% 5.5% $1,032 3.3% $2,108
Latvia 5.2% 5.2% $49 21.4% $23
United Arab E. 4.8% 4.7% $18,379 1.8% $1,718
Croatia 4.4% 4.0% $512 1.7% $39
Belgium 3.7% 3.6% $4,503 1.0% $483
Chile 3.6% 3.4% $562 1.0% $94
Bahrain 3.2% 3.2% $8,753 1.0% $107
Norway 3.1% 0.6% $3,198 0.2% $33
Indonesia 2.4% 2.3% $65 1.3% $212
Poland 2.1% 2.1% $519 1.6% $324
Sweden 2.0% 1.5% $1,003 1.3% $119
Ireland 1.4% 1.3% $2,927 0.4% $56
Panama 1.3% 0.7% $328 0.4% $5
Mexico 1.2% 1.1% $316 0.5% $197
Venezuela 1.2% 0.6% $704 0.2% $45
Greece 1.1% 1.1% $1,793 0.3% $64
United Kingdom 1.0% 0.9% $1,169 0.7% $495
Romania 1.0% 0.9% $21 9.8% $44
Russia 0.9% 0.8% $1,475 0.3% $581
South Korea 0.9% 0.2% $4,428 0.0% $56
Oman 0.8% 0.8% $8,159 0.1% $21
Slovenia 0.8% 0.8% $1,677 0.3% $8
Spain 0.8% 0.7% $1.708 0.2% $180
France 0.8% 0.7% $1,364 0.4% $338
Thailand 0.7% 0.2% $413 0.0% $11
Bulgaria 0.7% 0.7% $532 0.3% $12
Namibia 0.7% 0.7% $26 1.0% $1
Jamaica 0.7% 0.7% $181 0.4% $2
Egypt 0.6% 0.6% $74 0.5% $29
Trinidad and T. 0.6% 0.6% $14,274 0.0% $8
Ukraine 0.6% 0.3% $168 0.3% $21
Malaysia 0.5% 0.1% $1,240 0.0% $10
Singapore 0.5% 0.5% $25,080 0.1% $99
Brazil 0.5% 0.4% $149 0.2% $74
Japan 0.4% 0.0% $2,189 0.0% $13
Honduras 0.4% 0.1% $18 0.1% $0
Qatar 0.4% 0.4% $35,927 0.2% $121
Tunisia 0.4% 0.2% $25 0.5% $1
Denmark 0.4% 0.1% $814 0.2% $10
Portugal 0.4% 0.3% $830 0.1% $10
Canada 0.3% 0.2% $5,362 0.1% $108
Uruguay 0.1% 0.1% $126 0.1% $0
Cyprus 0.1% 0.1% $1,825 0.0% $0
Libya 0.1% 0.1% $1,543 0.0% $4
Iran 0.1% 0.0% $1,038 0.0% $3
India 0.1% 0.0% $1 0.5% $4
China 0.1% 0.1% $422 0.0% $45
Kuwait 0.0% 0.0% $32,150 0.0% $6
Jordan 0.0% 0.0% $128 0.0% $0
Turkey 0.0% 0.0% $328 0.0% $3
Israel 0.0% 0.0% $3,048 0.0% $0
Saudi Arabia 0.0% 0.0% $8,285 0.0% $46
Algeria 0.0% 0.0% $92 0.0% $0
Mauritius 0.0% 0.0% $524 0.0% $0
Lebanon 0.0% 0.0% $461 0.0% $0
Bosnia and H. 0.0% 0.0% $436 0.0% $0
Angola 0.0% 0.0% $36 0.0% $0
Armenia 0.0% 0.0% $167 0.0% $0
Austria 0.0% 0.0% $2,425 0,0% $0
Belarus 0.0% 0.0% $274 0.0% $0
Bolivia 0.0% 0.0% $18 0.0% $0
Botswana 0.0% 0.0% $75 0.0% $0
Czech Republic 0.0% 0.0% $1,149 0.0% $0
Hungary 0.0% 0.0% $406 0.0% $0
Iraq 0.0% 0.0% $235 0.0% $0
Kazakhstan 0.0% 0.0% $1,398 0.0% $0
Macedonia 0.0% 0.0% $16 0.0% $0
Serbia 0.0% 0.0% $513 0.0% $0
Slovakia 0.0% 0.0% $644 0.0% $0
Switzerland 0.0% 0.0% $979 0.0% $0
Turkmenistan 0.0% 0.0% $1,408 0.0% $0
Uzbekistan 0.0% 0.0% $84 0.0% $0

The world map (from ‘Wikipidia‘) below shows the Exclusive Economic Zone’s (EEZ)² in dark blue – of which the Marine Protected Area is a minor part (first column in the table).

Marine Protected Areas, world map

From the article ‘Australia’s new marine protected areas: why they won’t work’ (2013), by Bob Pressey, professor on Conservation Planning at James Cook University, the following thoughtful quotes are picked:

“On land and in the sea, we’re losing sight of what nature conservation is about. We’ve become dangerously focused on protected areas, but rarely consider what they’re supposed to achieve. One result is that biodiversity is declining almost everywhere while protected areas expand.”

“Electorates in many countries like the idea of nature conservation but are undiscerning about exactly what this means. Governments can therefore present residual protected areas – and the more extensive the better – as real progress for conservation. The incentive for residual conservation is to minimise financial and political cost.”

“As systems of marine protected areas expand, their residual nature is becoming obvious too. One of the world’s best examples of a residual system of marine protected areas was announced in November 2012 by the Australian Government.”

“The government considers these areas have confirmed Australia as a world leader in environmental protection. But how much difference did the new marine reserves make to the future of Australia’s marine biodiversity?

“Their placement has been adjusted to make little difference to fishing and no difference to oil and gas development. This repeats the pattern of the 2007 marine protected areas in the south-east region where marine protected areas, and especially green zones, were largely absent from the “zone of importance” where high biodiversity conservation values overlapped with greatest threats.”

“The “jewel in the crown” of the new network is the enormous mosaic of protection zones in the Coral Sea – nationally marginal for commercial fishing. The no-take zone [CA: marine protected areas that do not allow any fishing, mining, drilling, or other extractive activities] is furthest from land, typical of the other marine planning regions. The zones that prohibit pelagic long-lining have been configured to avoid all but the most marginal areas for this fishing method. Oil and gas exploration and extraction are prohibited throughout the region, although hydrocarbon reserves appear to be absent (they are concentrated in the north-west and south-east planning regions where oil and gas developments are avoided by or permitted in protected areas established in 2007 and 2012).”

“The conservation benefits are vanishingly small in proportion to size of the new areas.”

“Australia’s world leadership in marine conservation was rightly recognized in 1975 and 2004 with the establishment and extensive rezoning, respectively, of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The 2007 and now the 2012 Commonwealth marine protected areas are a big step backward from the 2004 milestone.”

“We must judge progress by moving from meaningless counts of square kilometers to measuring what actually counts – avoided loss or averted threats (the methods are there and ready to use). And we must have the courage to accept and apply the apparently radical idea that marine conservation is about making a difference, not about placing protected areas where they will be least inconvenient to business as usual.”

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¹According ‘WWF’ about 4% of the world’s oceans are protected. Another source (‘Wikipedia’) says only 2.09% are protected.

²The difference between the Territorial Sea (22 km from the shorelines) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a “sovereign right” which refers to the coastal state’s rights below the surface of the sea.

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Marine Protection Area is one of many ‘indicators’ In ClimatePositions. However, “Marine Reserve Area” – large areas with full focus on conservation of marine biodiversity – is ready for entering the calculation as well, whenever global data is available. If Australia’s increased Marine Protection Areas since 1990, as a hypothetical example, had been Marine Reserve Areas, then the reduction of Climate Debt would have been $12.2 billion, instead of $6.1 billion.

 

Sources on national Marine Protected Areas: United Nations (UN) (links in the menu “Calculations”).
Information on Marine Protected Areas: ‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_protected_area
Sources on national the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): ‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_economic_zone
Drawing (Australian snapper) by Claus Andersen, 2015.

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