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Overview of current legislation applicable to marine protected areas in the Atlantic arc countries partnering the MAIA project

Creator : MAIA partners
Date : 28/11/2012
Country : France, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom
Type : Status report
Technical themes : Legal
Available languages : French, English, Español, Português


This study, conducted by each of the MAIA project partner countries (Portugal, Spain, France and the UK) aims to draw up an initial overview of the current legislative frameworks relating to marine protected areas (MPA). The acronym "MPA" encompasses a wide range of legal tools, approaches and aims which need to be understood in greater depth.
Sharing knowledge of these tools is one of the primary aims of the MAIA project: improved understanding and mutual understanding for improved cooperation. Therefore, this summary will be useful to the project partners, but also to all the stakeholders, to further their knowledge of the legal tools of MPAs in force in our neighbouring countries in the Atlantic arc.
This initial comparison of legislation relating to MPAs, which can differ greatly from one country to another, specifies how the countries organise and legally implement marine environment protection policies using the "marine protected area" tool. This study is also the first point of input of the MAIA geographic database which will be one of the cornerstones of the MAIA network: the knowledge base of MPAs in the Atlantic arc countries and also a base for analysing the MPA network in the light of international goals (OSPAR in particular).

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