Official MPA map

In 2010, at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the CBD held in Nagoya, Japan, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity was adopted. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity consists of 20 new biodiversity targets for 2020, termed the "Aichi Biodiversity Targets". For the marine environment Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 represents a call to effectively conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020. The UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Target 14.5 add further weight to this call. MPA coverage within Territorial Seas has steadily increased during the last two decades, by contrast, growth in MPA coverage in areas outside Territorial Seas has remained very slow, climbing less than 1% in the same period until 2002 (Thomas et al. 2014),

In order to evaluate progress towards achieving the global targets in the marine environment the WDPA is used to track the rate of change via the Protected Planet Reports, the SDG process as well as several academic publications see for example "Evaluating official marine protected area coverage for Aichi Target 11: appraising the data and methods that define our progress, Thomas et al. 2014). The progress in growth in the MPA network, resulting from a combination of new sites being created,existing sites being expanded and a number of large sites being announced, will contribute even more to an increase in the total protected area coverage. An important tool in tracking the continued evolution of the global MPA network is the "Official MPA map" series developed in conjuntion with IUCN which utilises versions of the WDPA to highlight progress in reaching the global targets.

The first "Official MPA map" was produced in October 2013 at IMPAC 3, the second Offical MPA map, with accompanying statistics, was produced in September 2016 for the IUCN World Conservation Congress.Further editions of the MPA map series will be published frequently to show the continued growth in MPAs.