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
IEEP organised a special session at the Natural Capital Initiative 2019 summit to discuss the socio-economic benefits that marine protected areas can provide to local communities, and the management and governance strategies required to realise them.
IEEP’s Mia Pantzar attended the 10th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative held in Monaco at the Oceanographic Museum on 24th and 25th March to discuss the next steps for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and ecosystem services in the blue economy.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important policy tool for protecting vulnerable marine and coastal species and habitats.
By supporting the resilience of ecosystems, MPAs may also maintain and generate goods and services that can benefit different sectors in the “blue” European economy. However, MPAs are often seen as primarily imposing restrictions and costs on economic activities, creating aversion toward their establishment and protection.
Based on the views of 50 EU experts, this report explores the use of ecosystem services in pursuit of a greener Blue Economy in Europe.
IEEP explores the multiple benefits of nature, showing that health, social and economic benefits can complement biodiversity’s intrinsic value.
They are more than just a nature conservation tool – a study by IEEP shows how EU Marine Protected Areas help to maintain and improve the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services and related socio-economic benefits.
Marine Protected Areas provide a range of benefits to human wellbeing, including providing food, mitigating climate change and creating opportunities for recreation and tourism. Further steps are needed to assess and communicate these benefits, this way supporting marine conservation both globally and in the EU.
A scoping study by IEEP outlines a step-wise methodology to assess the overall benefits provided by the EU’s marine Natura 2000 network.