In a time when marine resources are overexploited, protecting areas of the ocean can ensure the prolonged health of natural systems that people rely on. Motivated by this, a growing contingent of NGOs, countries, and civil society organizations have made commitments to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030. For policy makers and practitioners to achieve this goal and identify, create, and fund successful marine protected areas (MPAs), it is crucial to understand the potential benefits and beneficiaries of marine conservation across the globe. However, marine conservation planning rarely considers the multitude of potential benefits provided by protection – including climate change mitigation, food security, tourism and recreation, and coastline protection – which can lead to difficult decisions about which areas to prioritize and an undervaluing of potential investments in marine conservation.
This project is a multi-year collaboration between emLab and National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project with a goal to identify and quantify potential benefits and beneficiaries of marine conservation and the viable financial mechanisms to fund protection.