International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Marine Protected Areas: A tool to manage sustainable use and conservation in Large Marine Ecosystems

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) come in many forms and with varying levels of protection and use. They include marine reserves, fully protected marine areas, no-take zones, marine sanctuaries, ocean sanctuaries, marine parks, locally managed marine areas, and many more. MPAs can be protected for a number of reasons including economic resources, biodiversity conservation, and species protection. They are created by delineating zones with permitted and non-permitted uses within that zone. A wide variety of types of MPAs and related policy frameworks have been developed to conserve and sustainably use coastal and marine resources and ecosystems.

Special thanks goes to Andrew Dansie (UNSW Global Water Institute) who developed this policy brief on behalf of GEF LME:LEARN.


These publications may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form for educational or non-profit purposes without special permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgment of the source is made. For bibliographic purposes, this policy brief should be cited as:

  • GEF LME:LEARN, 2020. Marine Protected Areas: A Tool to Manage Sustainable Use and Conservation in Large Marine Ecosystems. Paris, France.