Belize announced it will expand its no-take zones from 3% to over 10%, by the end of 2018.
Brazil announced a plan to create two marine protected areas (MPAs), which would increase the country’s percentage of MPAs from 1.5% to 26.3%.
The Seychelles has created two MPAs that will increase its area under marine protection to 30%.
9 March 2018: The countries of Belize, Brazil and the Seychelles have announced commitments to increase their efforts to protect marine biodiversity, in line with global efforts to achieve progress on the Sustainable Development Goal on life below water (SDG 14) as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Target 11, which calls for by 2020, protecting at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of coastal and marine areas.
Belize announced it will expand its no-take zones from 3% to over 10%, by the end of 2018. Belize Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade explained that Belize has taken this step “because the culture and health of our communities are intricately tied to healthy reefs and fisheries.” Wade stressed that expanding the no-take zones and promoting sustainable fishing is critical for Belize to achieve its biodiversity objectives while also providing “a source of healthy nutrition and food security and jobs.” The country made the announcement at the World Ocean Summit.
“The culture and health of our communities are intricately tied to healthy reefs and fisheries,” said Belize Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade.
Belize’s efforts to expand its network of no-take zones will complement its national secure fishing rights programme and empower fisherfolk. Under Belize’s ‘Territorial Use Right for Fishing (TURF)’ approach, fishers and fishing communities receive licenses that allow them access to fish in specific geographic areas of the fishery and transfer responsibilities to manage the areas and abide by regulations. This managed access approach, combined with no-take zones, aims to help rebuild fish populations and protect marine habitats. These actions will Belize progress towards SDG 14 targets, among other development priorities.
The Government of Brazil announced a plan to create two marine protected areas (MPAs), which would increase the country’s percentage of MPAs from 1.5% to 26.3%. Brazil plans to create a protected area around the Islands of Trindade and Martin Vaz, a mountain sea range, and around the islands of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, the smallest and most remote tropical archipelago in the world. Brazil’s commitment to protect these areas will support the country’s progress towards the SDGs, as well as Aichi Target 11.
The Government of the Seychelles announced the creation of two MPAs as part of a debt-for-conservation deal designed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in collaboration with private funders and foundations, governments, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other partners. These two MPAs will increase the Seychelles’ area under marine protection from 0.04% to 30%. The first MPA restricts nearly all human activities around the islands of the Aldabra Group, including a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site raised coral atoll. The second MPA protected deep waters between the Amirantes Group and Fortune Bank, areas that are recognized as important for fishing and tourism. [Ocean Action Hub Press Release on Belize] [GEF Press Release on Brazil Announcement] [FIS Story via GLISPA on the Seychelles]