Today sees the launch of 'Developing the evidence-base to support 'climate-smart' decision making around Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)', a report produced by our experts working on behalf of UK Government. This new research reveals that half of MPAs could contain habitats important for climate resiliance.
Dr John Goold, Director of Marine Evidence and Advice at JNCC said: "This report, released today on World Oceans Day, provides important evidence to further understand the susceptibility of protected features within MPAs to climate change and their functional role in building overall resilience to the impacts of climate change. Outputs from this collaborative project will help support concepts such as climate-smart decision making in the marine environment."
Defra Minister Rebecca Pow said:
"Our Blue Belt of marine protection around our coast is now an area twice the size of England and truly a world-leading level of protection; however, there is always more that can be done. We have a duty to ensure that our marine life recovers and thrives for future generations.
"This research published on World Ocean Day gives us the tools to measure the impacts of climate change on some of our most sensitive habitats and provides an important insight into the benefits of Marine Protected Areas – not just for nature but for our own resilience in the face of a changing climate."
Finding solutions to tackle climate change is a key priority for the UK and international community. One emerging area of focus is ‘nature-based solutions’; utilising our knowledge of ecosystems and the services they provide to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. Nature-based solutions have a crucial role to play in taking action on climate adaptation, resilience, and mitigation.
Outputs from this first phase of the Climate Smart MPA programme led by JNCC include the project report, an infographic illustrating some statistics on how MPAs contribute to climate change impact mitigation, and pilot MPA climate profiles to support decision-making in the face of a changing climate for individual MPAs. Project outputs are available on the Project webpage.