Marine biodiversity in French Guiana Looking to the future

Marine biodiversity issues at stake
With 11 million square kilometres of territorial waters, France has the second largest maritime area in the world, spread over four different oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Southern, and Indian oceans. 97% of these waters are associated with overseas territories, half of which is in French Polynesia. There is an astounding wealth of marine biodiversity in all these overseas oceans, making up a marvellous mosaic of extraordinary habitats. This wealth of biodiversity will be promoted during 2011, the French Year of Overseas Territories. In order to preserve and promote this wealth, some overseas territories already use marine habitat management tools, especially protected marine areas, or else have acquired an international label. The French Agency for Protected Marine Areas (Agence des aires marines protégées) is a public body set up in 2006 dedicated to protecting marine habitats. The agency operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Ecology and is headquartered in Brest. Its mission is to apply the commitments of the Grenelle Ocean Forum, and to expand and develop protected marine areas until they represent 10% of French waters in 2010 and 20% in 2020. It has branches on the three coastlines of mainland France as well as overseas in the Caribbean, French Guiana, Polynesia, and New Caledonia. In the Caribbean Guadalupe has developed a compact network of protected marine areas made up of four Marine Nature ...

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