A new layer of Google Earth Outreach was launched today which will bring marine conservation to millions of desktops around the world for the first time.
The new tool will not only show where the marine protected areas are located, but will also allow users to share pictures, videos and stories about local sites.
“As marine issues go high tech, you can now explore and get involved in protecting seas without even getting wet or leaving your home,” says Dan Laffoley, Marine Vice Chair of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. “By using the power and reach of Google Earth Outreach and the global network and expertise of IUCN WCPA-marine, we are now able to put critical ocean issues in front of hundreds of millions of people around the world. And, once we have people’s attention, we hope to move them from awareness to action to protect planet ocean.”
The layer provides the first illustrated picture of global ocean protection of wildlife and habitats using marine protected areas. Marine protected areas have become an increasingly popular tool for protecting marine resources after the Convention on Biological Diversity and World Summit on Sustainable Development set a goal of establishing a global network of effective marine protected areas by 2012.
“If we continue with a business-as-usual approach to marine protection, it is extremely unlikely that various targets of establishing global networks of marine protected areas will be met until at least 2060, a full half century later than planned,” said Dr William Jackson, IUCN Deputy Director General.
He added that a dynamic approach is required to spur governments, NGOs, the private sector and local communities into action and protect our oceans from the myriad threats facing them, particularly climate change.
IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas Marine, after an extensive global consultative process, is launching the global Plan of Action to accelerate progress to establishing marine protected areas.