Marine Protected Areas


Biodiversity in the UKOTs is recognised as of global significance,, supporting unique ecosystems and a large number of rare and threatened species. Effective conservation of biodiversity in the OTs is essential if the UK is to meet the 2020 Biodiversity Targets, as well as commitments under other relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).


One of the strategic priorities of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Biodiversity strategy is 'developing ecosystem-based initiatives for the conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment'


JNCC is responsible for identifying and providing conservation advice on MPAs in UK offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles) and has also co-ordinated technical workshops on Marine Protected Areas for Overseas Territories experts and practitioners, and worked in collaboration with in territory partners on baseline survey to gather evidence for inshore marine management.


Mapping St. Helena's marine biodiversity to create a marine management plan 2012-2014

This JNCC-led 2 year Darwin Initiative project was delivered through the main project partner - the Environmental Management Division of the St. Helena Government. The project aimed to build capacity for local personnel to implement marine monitoring and management strategies resulting in the protection and sustainable use of their marine resources in the long-term. To raise local and international awareness of St. Helena’s unique marine life.

During the life of the project, 14 new species were discovered !

The project is now complete. St.  Helena Marine Mapping Darwin Project completion announcement


August 2014:  South Atlantic OT Regional technical workshop - includes MPA focus.

In June 2014 JNCC collaborated with the Ascension Island Government to run a regional workshop. The workshop brought together international and regional technical experts to look at 4 work areas: Marine Protected Areas, Sustainable Fisheries, Seabird Monitoring and Biodiversity/Environmental Action Planning. The workshop report and presentations are available here>>


November 2013 Overseas Territories MPA technical workshop Peterborough

During the last UKOT Biodiversity Strategy Review Meeting, held at KEW, March 2013, OT goverOT MPA workshopnment participants expressed a desire for broader based contacts with UK Government experts, particularly within DEFRA and its family of agencies. Specific issues in need to be addressed related to current or anticipated marine conservation and/or management actions were identified at this time and through subsequent consultation with OT and Crown Dependencies governments. Technical assistance, capacity building, resources, and an improved network with UK expertise were identified as critical components for progress in careful planning and implementation of necessary conservation actions.

In an attempt to address some of the areas of marine conservation/management of interest to UKOT governments, and strengthen the link between available expertise in the UK and its OTs and Crown Dependencies, a series of technical workshops was proposed by JNCC, dependent on interest and funding.

An MPA workshop was the first of the proposed series. It was held in Peterborough at the end of November 2013. A report on the workshop is available here>>