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How much do we need?

Protecting at least 30 percent of the ocean in fully and highly protected areas is essential to meet a range of environmental and economic goals that will safeguard our future.

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Human activities are putting unprecedented pressure on the ocean and its inhabitants. Unsustainable fishing and other extractive industries are putting species at risk, destroying vital habitats, and polluting waters. A changing climate is leading to a warmer ocean, rising seas, and ocean acidification, which in turn impact species, ecosystems, and the vital ecosystems services we rely upon. The time for change is now.

Fully and highly protected areas are a critical line of defense for the ocean and serve as refuges for many species. According to leading conservation experts, 30% of each marine biogeographic region must be conserved in effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative, well-connected systems of marine protected areas by 2030 to safeguard biodiversity and the benefits humans derive from nature. Percentage targets, such as this, elevate accountability and mobilize political will and funding toward meeting conservation goals.

Elevated carbon dioxide is leading to a warmer ocean, rising seas... the time for change is now.

Marine Conservation Institute joined some of the world’s largest conservation organizations in calling for countries to commit to this goal. As we look toward the future, we urge parties to include a commitment to protect and conserve at least 30% of the ocean through a combination of highly and fully protected marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures in their post-2020 frameworks. Promisingly, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2016, IUCN members approved a motion in support of 30x30, representing the most ambitious target adopted so far for the marine conservation community.

Learn more about our efforts to advocate for new and stronger protected areas.

Read the latest work of leading scientific experts from around the world.

Now is the time to act.

Marine Conservation Institute works to improve marine protection by advocating for stronger ocean protections, tracking conservation progress in the Marine Protection Atlas, and strengthening marine protections through Blue Parks. We are working to save the ocean for all of us and future generations.

Each and every one of us can make a difference.