Safeguarding marine biodiversity

Marine reserves help protect and preserve areas of our oceans that are rich in biodiversity, ecologically significant and vulnerable to destruction. These areas are closed to all extractive uses, such as fishing, mining, oil exploration, waste dumping etc. There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that large-scale networks of marine reserves are urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats.

Marine reserves are not just about preserving fish stocks. They are an essential global tool to protect entire ecosystems. Marine reserves will help increase the planet’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change and carbon pollution.

Coastal seas can also be protected with the help of marine reserves. Here, marine reserves can have ‘core’ zones, where no human activities are allowed. These can be areas of scientific reference or areas having particularly sensitive habitats or species. Other areas may remain open to small-scale, sustainable, non-destructive fisheries. Greenpeace firmly believes that marine reserves must be declared only with the consent and participation of communities that stand to be affected by the reserve in question.

Campaign story:

Less than 0.3% of India’s waters (including the 2 million sq. km. Exclusive Economic Zone) are under some form of legal protection, where extraction is either prohibited or restricted. A large, economically disadvantaged population in India depends on fisheries and related activities for primary sustenance and livelihood. The high level of direct resource dependence coupled with a lack of community consultation has generated resistance towards many marine reserves on the coast of mainland India.

While fishing communities support measures to protect their fish resources, they want local communities to be involved in making decisions over which areas need to be protected, how and to what extent.

This was clear at a symposium on marine reserves organised by Greenpeace in 2007. The symposium was attended by fisher community representatives from across India.  These representative expressed support for marine reserves, set up with prior involvement of communities to protect marine resources from all threats. Thus, community involvement in designing and enforcing marine reserves in India, particularly in the coastal zone, is indispensable.  

Greenpeace is campaigning on Orissa’s east coast, to help the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary become a model for better biodiversity conservation and a tool for fisheries management that addresses potential conflicts between conservation and livelihoods. A successful model in Orissa will become reference for marine conservation in the rest of India.

The latest updates

 

What is the IPCC saying and what does it mean?

Publication | September 27, 2013 at 16:54

Background briefing accompanying the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR5 WG1 launch.

Hope in the era of climate change

Blog entry by Siddhartha | September 13, 2013

This is not the place to dwell at length on climate change, but a few facts would bear mentioning. There are indications that by the end of the century we might witness the emergence of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of...

Ignoring human rights abuses and coal’s uncertain future, big banks line up for piece...

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | September 9, 2013

Jeetlal Baiga in the Sasan Moher block forest area, stands near his broken down home, from where his family was displaced by the Sasan coal mine project Green is in on Wall Street. Or so you’d think, if you believe the...

Meeting and being inspired by Kumi Naidoo

Blog entry by Ali Abbas | July 16, 2013

Kumi Naidoo (left) joins activists at a rally in Istanbul calling for an ‘end to the age of coal’ Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International recently said, “Mahatma Gandhi once said, first they ignore you, then...

One positive step from the World Bank, many to follow

Blog entry by Paul Horsman and Shiwang Singh | July 3, 2013

Rampaging floods in Uttarakhand,India, Mindanao, along Europe's famed Danube, in large tracts of Canada, and in America's Midwest. Toxic smog in Singapore, Malaysia, and China's industrial heartland. Melting glaciers in the Alps,...

Floods in Uttarakhand: people and ecology suffer

Blog entry by Shashwat Raj and Paul Horseman | June 24, 2013

Today in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, we are witnessing one of the worst man-made calamities in recent times. A disastrous cycle of events has led to floods that have already killed many people and displaced many more from their...

Australian coal: the view from India

Feature story | April 21, 2013 at 4:54

My name is Arpana Udupa, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India. I’m on board the Rainbow Warrior, travelling up the Queensland coast.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef threatened by coal mining

Blog entry by Arpana Udupa | April 20, 2013

Image: Darren Jew/Greenpeace I joined the Rainbow Warrior III in Townsville, a city in the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. After catching up with my Australian counterparts on the campaign and tour, I found myself in a...

Wanted: Polar explorers. No experience required.

Blog entry by James Turner | April 4, 2013

In just over two weeks I will be standing on the frozen Arctic ocean, preparing to ski to the North Pole. I'll be wearing four layers of fleece and a special hat that someone knitted for me. In my pockets I'll carry some almond...

Happy birthday, Greenfreeze!

Blog entry by Paula Tejon Carbajal | March 26, 2013

Greenfreeze production line 12/08/1993. © Ali Paczensky / Greenpeace Do you have a fridge at home? Then, unless you live in North America, you probably have a Greenfreeze. And what is that? A fridge that uses a revolutionary...

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