Britain sets up the world’s largest marine reserve – Nature, Environment – The Independent

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Britain sets up the world’s largest marine reserveNature, Environment – The Independent.

via Britain sets up the world’s largest marine reserve – Nature, Environment – The Independent.

At midnight tonight, the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve will come into force in the British territorial waters of the Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean.

 

But this new sanctuary, designated as a “no-take” zone where commercial fishing will be banned, serves to underline how catastrophically the international community has fallen short of a goal set almost a decade ago to protect marine life.

In 2002, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the World Summit on Sustainable Development made a commitment to protect 10 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2012. Today, with only 15 months to go, it is estimated that just 1.17 per cent of the world’s oceans are under some form of protection, and a mere 0.08 per cent classified as “no-take” zones.

Yesterday, government representatives at a UN conference onbiodiversity held in Nagoya, Japan, put the 2012 deadline back to 2020. Marine experts warned that it is scandalous that the original deadline will not be met, and said the 10 per cent target falls far short of what is needed. A third of ocean waters need protection to give species a fighting chance of survival, they said.

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