WWF Global 200 Ecoregions -a Natural Heritage to be Protected
WWF, the conservation organization, has drawn up a list of 200 ecoregions - the Global 200 - that have been identified as being critical to the world's biodiversity. The North-East Atlantic Shelf Marine Ecosystems (including the North and Baltic Seas) and the Barents-Kara Seas have been identified among 200 ecoregions of global importance. A long-term vision and conservation plans are needed for our common natural heritage. WWF's Arctic Programme promotes Ecoregion Conservation (ERC) in the Barents Sea in order to safeguard the unique ecosystems near and north of the polar circle. The WWF North-East Atlantic Programme implements Ecoregion Conservation (ERC) on the North-East Atlantic Shelf: as a priority, WWF supports the further development of an Ecosystem Approach to the management of human activities in the North Sea including spatial planning of human sea uses in the light of marine conservation needs; the protection status of the Wadden Sea, which is the largest coastal wetland and one of the last wilderness areas in Europe, must be further improved. The Celtic Marine Ecosystems will deserve extra attention in the future due to the complex hydrography, productive pelagic food web and species richness associated with the shelf break.