An “Educational Managed Marine Area” (EMMA) is a small coastal area a few km2 wide, managed in a participatory way by primary school pupils, in accordance with principles defined in a charter. It is an educational and eco-friendly project to help young people better understand and protect the marine environment. The children become part of a local project that draws on the expertise of the school and local municipality, along with user associations and environmental protection groups.
The Agency’s main missions involve :
- Supporting public policies for MPA creation and management;
- Coordinating the network of MPA managers;
- Managing human, technical and financial resources made available to marine nature parks and other MPAs under its supervision,
- Providing technical support for Regional Sea Conventions (Caribbean, North-East Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, South Pacific and Antarctica).
French Marine Nature Parks officially came into being on 14 April 2006 with a law passed to create a new protection tool and the public body on which the parks depend: the Agence des Aires Marines Protégées (The French Marine Protected Areas Agency). It was the culmination of a story which began in the 1980s in the western parts of France, with the need to protect the Iroise Sea while respecting local uses of the waters.
Read informations about the Estuaire Picards and Mer d’Opale Marine Nature Park : data sheet, a territory with ambition, management plan and management board...
The Agence des aires marines protégées (French MPA Agency) is undertaking a first project to restore the marine environment. This is a pilot action to which the Agency attaches great importance.
In May 2015, 2,500 tyres deposited underwater in the 1980s to form artificial reefs will be removed from the Natura 2000 site "Baie et cap d’Antibes - Iles de Lérins" (bay and cape of Antibes and the Lérins Islands), a marine protected area in the Alpes Maritimes in the south of France. The aim is to restore the integrity of the marine environment over which the tires have scattered in recent decades and thus avoid all alteration of the site's habitats of European importance.
While restoring the marine environment is indeed one of the goals assigned to the Agence des aires marines protégées by the French Ministry for Ecology, projects are still few and far between, due in particular to the technical and scientific difficulties they involve.
This brochure presents Marine Protected Areas that have been designated in waters beyond national jurisdictions by the OSPAR Commission. This document recalls how these MPAs were created, and the consequent recommendations for their management. The French Agency for Marine Protected Areas is involved in all these steps and this document intends in particular to inform relevant administrations and stakeholders to facilitate the implementation at national level of the recommendations for the management of these MPAs.
The Agoa sanctuary aims to ensure good marine mammal conservation by protecting both the mammals and their habitats from the direct or indirect, potential or proven, adverse impacts of human activities.
Action is guided by five principles set out in the declaration establishing the sanctuary : protect, understand, share, inform and cooperate.
Since 1971, French Polynesia, according to its local jurisdiction, has been setting up marine protected areas with multiple goals (protected areas, PGEM marine area management plan) but also regulated fi shing areas which contribute to a better marine area management.
Meanwhile, some areas are internationally recognized and awarded by UNESCO’s “Man and Biosphere” program (Fakarava atolls) and by the RAMSAR convention on the international importance of wetlands (Moorea lagoon).
French Polynesia also host traditional community-based management measures such as the “Rahui”, which are still used nowadays in Rapa and Maiao, for instance.
Finally, French Polynesia has marine sanctuaries covering the entire waters under national jurisdiction for marine mammals and sharks.
An Educational Managed Marine Areas is a coastal zone which has a local and participatory management led by children. It is an initiative which involves pupils in a citizen action project of marine environment protection.
As soon as they are established, marine protected areas have the responsibility for effectively protecting the marine environment. As a result of their legal status, some marine protected areas may have broader goals, extending beyond nature conservation, such as sustainably developing professional or leisure activities, or preserving cultural heritage or a maritime identity. Alone, a marine protected area (MPA) has a local, and limited, range of action. Marine environment conservation must be addressed on several scales – local, regional and national – hence the importance of creating a coherent, representative and effective network of MPAs. Maritime nations have a major responsibility in these matters.