14.5.1 Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas (Tier I).
The protection of marine areas is essential for protecting the oceans biodiversity and natural resources. The importance of protection was recognized in the MDGs and has been recognised in the SDGs. The measurement of marine protected areas is well established and maintained by UNEP-WCMC with IUCN and BirdLife under the Protected Planet World Database on Protected Areas. These data are largely curated by relevant Ministries (e.g. of the Environment) or National Park Agencies. The national data are reported by the relevant authorities to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).
Monitoring ecological parameters in addition to ecosystem-based management or protected areas is useful to inform the effectiveness of management practices. Understanding the state of biodiversity, water quality, habitat quality, ecosystem health and other ecological parameters can reveal disturbances in ocean health that may have otherwise been overlooked. These disturbances can then be addressed in future management and planning.