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States "must create marine protected areas"

Parties to the Ospar and Helcom conventions on the north-east Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea must do more to establish representative networks of marine protected areas (MPAs), green group WWF said on Friday. The NGO's intervention comes just before the conventions' joint annual meeting, to be held next week. Helcom parties pledged to create 62 MPAs in 1994, but have only implemented five, the group said. Where coastal MPAs do exist, they "lack effective management". Centre-right governments in Denmark, Portugal, Spain and France have cut funding levels and progress, it added. See press release.

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