Marine Protected Areas

IEEP works to address the barriers to effective and robust Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), including the inadequate understanding of the variety of benefits of healthy marine ecosystems and lack of sustainable and reliable financing for nature conservation at sea.

IEEP has recently worked on a research project for DG Mare on the economic benefits of MPAs, which included a discussion on governance strategies to help generate benefits, enhance synergies among stakeholders and address stakeholder conflicts. For this project, IEEP led an exhaustive literature review and carried out two case studies (Kosterhavet, Sweden, and Torre Guaceto, Italy). In 2016, IEEP developed a scoping study for DG Environment on the Socio-Economic Benefits of the Marine Natura 2000 Network.

IEEP contributes to the collection and analysis of the evidence on a range of benefits provided by biodiversity and protected areas, including recreation opportunities, health improvements, carbon storage, and others. In this way, IEEP aims to contribute to mainstreaming the concept of ecosystem services in marine management.

Finally, IEEP has a strong track record on different ways of financing biodiversity conservation and protected areas, in particular. This includes analysing the innovative use of existing funds (e.g. budget for regional development) and exploring innovative financial mechanisms such as payment for ecosystem services.

Regarding work in this area, please contact: Daniela Russi and Mia Pantzar