GABON INCREASES MARINE PROTECTION FROM LESS THAN 1% TO 26% IN JUST FIVE YEARS.

 GABON INCREASES MARINE PROTECTION FROM LESS THAN 1% TO 26% IN JUST FIVE YEARS.
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Gabon used to be a country that had no formal protection of marine ecosystems. However, recently, Gabon is becoming a world leader in conservation and protection. 

According to a new paper compiled by Gabonese policy makers and researchers from the University of Exeter, UK, Gabon now provides a blueprint that could be used in other nations.

Since announcing its new Marine Protected Areas Network in 2014, the country has created 20 protected areas, which increases protection of Gabonese waters from less than 1% all the way to 26%.

These protected areas are areas of seas, oceans, estuaries or Great Lakes. They restrict human activity for conservation purposes, typically to preserve natural and cultural resources.

Only a few countries, which includes Gabon have met or exceeded international commitments on land and sea.

Dr. Emma Stokes, a Wildlife Conservation Society Regional Director for Central Africa and Gulf of Guinea said “Collective action has accelerated progress, and the country has now committed to the 30×30 pledge to protect 30 percent of its oceans by 2030.This political will and long-term engagement was vital –creating a ‘tipping point’ towards effective change.”

Gabon’s MPAs make up an interconnected network tailored to protect important habitats, as well as globally important populations of sea turtles and marine mammals. Protected zones extend from north to south, and from coastal waters to 200 nautical miles offshore.

The new paper argues that lessons from Gabon can be used to inform Post-2020 global biodiversity commitments and implementation.

 

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Victory Amah

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