[SDG 14.5] By 2020, conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.
Most of the marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world, estimated to number about 5000, have been established both on an ad hoc basis and through systematic planning processes. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires that Party states establish, by 2012, comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of protected areas, and that there should be effective conservation of at least 10% of each of the world's ecological regions by 2010. Many countries have established their own national targets which provide an incentive for the introduction of a systematic conservation planning approach to the establishment of MPAs, and there are now many initiatives to develop ecologically representative MPA networks (UNEP-WCMC, 2008, p. i).
Marine mammals play a crucial role in marine ecosystem function and climate change resilience by sequestering carbon through the consumption of energy rich plankton and fish. They provide valuable ecosystem services such as ecotourism. Conserving marine mammals provides significant economic, social and cultural benefits to coastal communities.