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Question 2.4

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Need quantitative conservation targets [#404]
The scientific criteria, as outlined in the Azores document, are quite broad, and may result in a similar scenario to the British Columbia experience, where every part of every ocean qualifies under the EBSA criteria.  Therefore translating the criteria into relevant conservation targets will be one of the challenges, albeit a very important one. A target is the amount of any aspect of the environment/ecosystem/biodiversity (i.e., the CBD criteria) to be included in the conservation designation. Targets can be any quantifiable measure, such as a percentage of a habitat to be protected, number of individuals, number of colonies, etc. Targets can be uniform (e.g., 20% of all features should be included), or can be specific to individual features. As such, targets can be set through policy recommendations (e.g., by the CBD), or the setting of targets can be deferred to the advice of experts for specific biodiversity features. Without explicit conservation targets, achieving transparency in the selection process will be extremely difficult. The recent document outlining scientific principles for design of MPAs in Australia may be helpful:
(The Ecology Centre, University of Queensland, 2009. Scientific principles for design of marine protected areas in Australia: a guidance statement. 29pp)
posted on 2009-06-26 01:40 UTC by Dr Natalie Ban, James Cook University