The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Bertarelli Foundation joined forces in 2017 to create the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project. Their aim is to create the first generation of ecologically significant and effective marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. The project builds on a decade of work by the two organizations to protect the ocean.
Through the Bertarelli Foundation, 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 4 percent of the ocean is highly or strongly 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), and the New Caledonia remote reef MPA (28,000 km2).
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: John Kerry (co-chair), David Cameron (co-chair), James Alix Michel, Heraldo Muñoz, Carlotta Leon Guerrero and Diva Amon.