World Ocean Day – Marine Protected Areas in the 21st Century: a Turquoise Tipping Point

Event date: 07 June 2022, 13:00 - 14:00 BST
ocean coast in tropical region

An event to celebrate World Ocean Day 2022 and highlight the significance of well-managed marine protected areas, benefiting from 21st century financing.

Watch the webinar

The Commonwealth is an Ocean Commonwealth, with an ocean jurisdiction 1.3 times larger than its land area. But growing pressures are pushing ecosystems to a ‘tipping point.’

Green markets, when combined with marine protected areas (MPAs), offer new solutions to the global ocean blues – a turquoise beacon of hope.

The creation of MPAs helps safeguard the health and biodiversity of the world ocean and mitigates many of the harmful effects of climate change.

About 8 per cent of the global ocean is currently designated as ‘protected’, but less than 3 per cent is actually highly protected, leaving the vast majority of marine ecosystems and coastal livelihoods highly exposed to a multitude of human and natural threats and stressors. 

Anticipating the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, currently under discussion, there is a growing movement to ensure that 30 per cent of marine areas are conserved by 2030 (30x30). In the Commonwealth, at least 30 countries have committed to 30x30, but only four have achieved 30% protection of their respective marine waters.  

The impressive political will mobilised under the 30x30 banner can indeed help avert disaster and lead to ecological recovery, but only if the MPAs are funded, well managed, and engage those who depend upon the sea.

This Commonwealth virtual event celebrates World Ocean Day (which takes place the day after, on 8 June 2022), highlighting the significance of well-managed MPAs benefiting from 21st century financing.  

Government and private sector leaders will speak to their experiences supporting the global MPA effort at home and internationally.


  • Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
  • His Excellency Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles
  • Louisa Fennelly, International MPA Lead Specialist, JNCC, UK
  • Adriel Castañeda, Fisheries Officer, Belize Fisheries Department, Belize
  • Dennis Fritsch, Senior Project Coordinator, Sustainable Blue Economy, UNEP Finance Initiative
  • Adrian Gahan, Policy Director, Pristine Seas, National Geographic
  • Maya Delaney, Associate, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORAA), and Youth Climate Ambassador
  • Naomi Longa, Sea Women of Melanesia, Papua New Guinea
  • Jeff Ardron (moderator), Adviser, Ocean Governance, The Commonwealth Secretariat


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