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Marine biodiversity legislation

Marine biodiversity

This Report Card looks at climate change and marine biodiversity legislation, with a focus on the legislation used to establish various types of marine protected areas.

Key headlines

  • Climate change is rarely explicitly considered in marine biodiversity legislation, but mechanisms generally exist that could enable climate change issues to be addressed.
  • The potential impacts of climate change on marine protected areas include features being gained to or lost from sites and, in certain cases, the entire network.
  • Flexibility is required in responding to climate change impacts on marine protected areas so options such as designating new sites, abandoning old sites and revising management measures may all need to be considered.
  • With over 1,250 designated features in the UK marine protected area network, identifying where and how these habitats and species are likely to be affected by climate change will be a critical step in managing marine protected areas.
  • At the current stage of development for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, further practical consideration of how climate change could affect targets for the achievement of Good Environmental Status is required. 

Report card


Journal review paper