The world is on the brink of an important break-through.  At the upcoming meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), nations will soon pledge to expand the area of our oceans that must be covered by Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to at least 30 percent. This signifies a growing understanding of the need to manage the seas more sustainably and sensitively. We need more than the current 10 percent protection target because species and their habitats continue to decline at an alarming rate. High profile examples include coral reefs (22 percent of corals on the Great Barrier Reef died in a 2016 bleaching event), sharks and rays, and innumerable commercial fish populations from Grand Banks cod to Mediterranean blue fin tuna, but also so much more. Around the world from the Seychelles to Alaska, humans benefit from healthy ecosystems. Maintaining a healthy natural marine environment can achieve a range of valuable services, from improved fish stocks to climate change mitigation. We already know how to manage sustainably. Decades of science has shown at least in general terms how ecosystems function and can be protected. Social science and community engagement has shown how people must be in the equation.  Governance and monitoring examples have been developed. The biggest challenge in getting political will for a 30 percent target and maintaining it after 2030 is financial. That’s not to say that other aspects of achieving a 30 percent coverage of well-managed, biologically representative MPAs will be easy. But getting governments to…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer