Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy

The Pew Charitable Trusts and Dona Bertarelli joined forces in 2017 to create the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, with the shared goal of establishing the first generation of ecologically significant, large and effective marine protected areas around the world. Today, the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project also seeks to connect marine protected areas, and help conserve key migratory species and entire marine ecosystems. This project builds on more than a decade of work by Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation, led by Dona Bertarelli, to create large scale highly or fully marine protected areas.

The science is clear, marine protected areas are an effective tool to help protect and restore biodiversity, enable the ocean to be more resilient to climate change and recover from the impact of extractive activities such as overfishing, improve carbon sequestration, and secure the food and livelihoods of billions of people who rely on a healthy ocean.

Dona Bertarelli supports the advancement of marine conservation policy, and increased designation and monitoring of MPAs, to stop and reverse biodiversity loss, and protect these areas from illegal fishing and extraction activities.

A marine protected area (MPA) is a clearly defined and legally recognised space that is managed and protected to achieve long-term conservation of nature. MPAs can help to improve the health of the ocean and provide multiple benefits to the people whose lives and traditions are linked to these waters.

Research shows that large, fully protected MPAs can help protect biodiversity and allow species recovery, they can benefit fisheries, as well as highly migratory species. They can also offer economic benefits, help build resilience to impacts of climate change, and safeguard traditional cultures linked to the sea.

But less than 3 percent of the global ocean is fully or highly protected – compared with about 15 percent of land.

To increase that protected area and build on a series of conservation wins, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Bertarelli Foundation forged a partnership with the goal of increasing the number of large and fully protected MPAs in the sea to 15 by 2022.

Since the partnership’s creation, notable successes include the designation of the Rapa Nui Rāhui MPA & Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park (720,000 km2), the Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park (148,000 km2), the New Caledonia remote reef MPA (28,000 km2), and the Hermandad Marine Reserve around the Galapagos islands 

In 2018, the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Ambassadors were convened to serve as ambassadors for ocean conservation and support national efforts to secure and implement marine reserves. The Ambassadors are: David Cameron (co-chair), James Alix Michel, Heraldo Muñoz, Carlotta Leon Guerrero and Diva Amon.