The MPA Guide: A Framework to Achieve Global Goals for the Ocean


Science Magazine published The MPA Guide: A Framework to Achieve Global Goals for the Ocean, the result of 10 years of investigation from 42 scientists across 38 institutions and 6 continents. Amongst these scientists is Emanuel Gonçalves, Oceano Azul Foundation’s Board Member and Chief Scientist.


The MPA Guide is the most recent and most complete study on marine protected areas (MPA), synthesizing scientific information needed to understand how to plan, implement, evaluate and monitor these necessary areas for the protection of our ocean and its biodiversity.


We are facing a biodiversity crisis. The ocean needs protection urgently and MPAs when properly implemented and managed, are effective tools to do so. To meet the global efforts in protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030, marine protected areas need to increase. Currently only 3% of the ocean is fully or highly protected. Around the world, MPA’s vary in regards to their level of protection, implementation and regulation, which consequently affects the ocean’s health differently. In order to meet the goal set for 2030, an understanding of the different levels of protection, implementation and management of MPA’s is essential as well as its consequences. The MPA Guide serves to provide a unified language outlining 4 levels of protection and 4 stages of implementation, and explains the outcome of each, helping align objectives with needed regulations.


“We need to move to an ocean pact that declares the ocean as public domain and reverse the burden of proof for marine conservation. The MPA Guide is the tool we need to make marine protection work.” – Chief Scientist and Board Member of Oceano Azul Foundation, Emanuel Gonçalves


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