Closed – Environmental Audit Committee Calling for Evidence on MPAs

The Environmental Audit Committee is calling for evidence on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the UK and the Overseas Territories.This follows on from the previous Committee’s reports into Marine Protected Areas and Sustainability in the UK Overseas TerritoriesThe Committee is calling for written evidence on some or all of the following points:

Progress to date:

  • Is the Government on track to achieving the commitment in the Conservative Party’s 2015 manifesto to complete the UK’s “Blue Belt” by the end of the Parliament? What further actions should the Government be taking to meet its commitments?
  • How effective has the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) been at achieving its objectives? Are there improvements that could be made to it?

Domestic MPAs

  • What lessons should the Government be taking from the process of designation, implementation and enforcement of the first two tranches of MCZs? To what extent has it learnt those lessons?
  • The previous Committee expressed concern about a lack of leadership and resources for the implementation of MCZs. It recommended the Government should set out management plans for individual MCZs and an overall strategy for all MCZs. To what extent has the Government met the previous Committee’s concerns?
  • Some MPAs are designated under the EU Habitats Directive. How should the Government’s policy on the Blue Belt take account of the EU Referendum result?

Overseas Territories

  • What progress has the Government made towards achieving its goal of a Blue Belt around the Overseas Territories? What risks does it need to address? What best practice should it be following to monitor and enforce the MPAs?
  • To what extent do the Government’s Blue Belt proposals meet the concerns of the previous Committee, expressed in its report into Sustainability and the Overseas Territories?
  • How effectively has the Government consulted with the Overseas Territories Governments and communities? Are the Territories receiving the maximum economic benefit from the MPAs?

Submission should be no longer than 3,000 words and should made through the online portal no later than 5pm on Friday 7 October 2016. Sending a written submission can be down at the following link. More information about the inquiry can be found here.

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