Major UK nature charities including WWF-UK and RSPB have unveiled plans to assess the UK government‘s measures to conserve and restore marine habitats this year, urging Ministers to take action ahead of COP26 this November.
The charities collaboratively developed the so-called ‘Marine Scorecard’ after Ministers declared 2021 to be the “marine super year” in January. This declaration was aligned with the UN dubbing the 2020s the ‘Ocean Decade’ and ‘Decade of Ecosystem Restoration’. With the UK having failed to deliver on previous ocean conservation and restoration promises, the scorecard will be completed later this year to give an updated snapshot of progress – or lack thereof.
While protected status has been broadened for marine habitats, NGOs believe that less than 1% of marine areas are properly protected. Previous WWF research has revealed that fully protecting one-third of UK seas could catalyse a £50bn boost for the economy and unlock 100,000 jobs.