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Our precious coasts – marine pollution, climate change and the resilience of coastal ecosystems

Publication date:
C. Nellemann
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Global warming events and storms are expected to increase in the future, along with significant coastal population growth and development. This report finds that it will therefore be essential to effectively control marine pollution and coastal development in order to build resilience and enhance the ability of coral reefs to recover from severe weather events. Specifically, the report recommends that that:an ecologically representative system of effectively managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is implemented, and that these MPA’s are enforced and be of a significant size in order to have an effectthat marine protected areas incorporate the coastal zonethat development and management of activities in the coastal zone elsewhere are undertaken in a responsible manner and in accordance with the principles of integrated coastal zone management.According to the report, the recommendation by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), that 10% of all marine and coastal ecological regions be conserved in MPAs by 2012, will not be met until 2069. MPAs further need to be of a significant size, effectively managed and designed and implemented in such a way to facilitate the conservation of marine biodiversity and the associated ecosystem services, including close regulation of the adjacent land-based activities to reduce pollution.