Bosnia and Herzegovina has come top of the league when it comes to sea protection, international journal of science nature.com writes.
Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, 10% of the world’s marine environment is supposed to be protected in reserves called marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2020. The top three countries (Monaco, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal) have protected 100%, 97% and 52% respectively of the ‘exclusive economic zones (EEZ)’ they have jurisdiction over, according to a new league table.
Sea protection is easier for some countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, which only has 21 square kilometres of EEZ, than it is for Australia, which has over 9 million square kilometres and is positioned 19th in the league table despite having already protected more sea than most other nations even rule over. According to the analysis from the Marine Reserves Coalition only 19 sovereign states have either achieved or exceeded the 10% target as the Rio +20 Earth Summit gets underway.
At the bottom end of the scale are Nauru, Benin, Togo and Iraq which have not protected any of their waters.
“Despite the promising figures at the top of the league table, total global MPA coverage stands at just 2.6%,” said Fiona Llewellyn, the MRC coordinator at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), in a statement. “The world’s governments have not acted responsibly, and despite commitments to safeguard marine life by creating protected areas, there has been very little implementation of these promises.”
ZSL and the Coalition revealed the tables on Friday (June 15) as part of a side event at the Rio +20 meeting where they are trying to get governments to re-commit to the 10% target.