Manado Declaration Commits To Marine Protected Areas

Date: May 26, 2009

The World Oceans Conference in Manado, Indonesia, which was attended by high-level representatives from around 90 countries, ended with a strong Declaration about the impacts of climate change on the oceans.

Signed on May 14th, the Manado Declaration calls for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas to help build resilience within the oceans to withstand the effects of climate change.

Duncan Currie of the DSCC, who attended the meeting said: “Building resilience means protecting vulnerable areas from highly damaging practices such as bottom trawling and we will take this Declaration to the forthcoming South Pacific RFMO meeting and others to inform the measures they put in place in relationship to this practice.”

The meeting, which was attended by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, considered the 2007 IPCC report (1) which found that the oceans have absorbed some 80% of the heat added to the climate system and that average sea temperatures have therefore increased to at least 3000 metres. The oceans are expected to continue heating up for more than a millennium which is likely to result in changes to currents, species distribution and to the chemistry of the water – ocean acidification.

Paragraph 15 of the Manado Declaration says: “We resolve to further establish and effectively manage marine protected areas, including representative resilient networks, in accordance with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS, and on the basis of the best available science, recognizing the importance of their contribution to ecosystem goods and services, and to contribute to the effort to conserve biodiversity, sustainable livelihoods and to adapt to climate change.”

[1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) The Physical Science Basis – Summary for Policymakers. Contribution of WGI to the Fourth Assessment Report.

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