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About the MPA Action Agenda

Established in 2013, the MPA Action Agenda (MPA AA) (hosted by WWF Netherlands) was created as a way to effectively invest major efforts into expanding MPAs as well as build capacity to better manage MPAs around the globe. The overall goal of this multi-year initiative is to increase the robustness of the global oceans and thereby the continuity of ocean productivity and biodiversity, which are both crucial for the availability of seafood and jobs for millions of people as well as for the survival of ocean wildlife.

See 'our work' for more detailed information on the main successes achieved in and the main objectives for of the MPA Action Agenda. 

Do you want to support the MPA Action Agenda in its mission to expand MPAs worldwide, and manage them more effectively? Please get in touch with the MPA Action Agenda Programme Officer Malou van Kempen. Your contribution is greatly appreciated!


Conservation of our oceans globally, including all life in it, for the benefit of healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods and for food security of communities worldwide.


Healthy oceans for a healthy planet and the people who depend on it, through partnerships, especially the MPA Action Group, promoting the use of area based measures such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) to empower communities to conserve marine biodiversity and sustainable development of coastal communities to achieve the CBD’s Aichi Target 11 and SDG14.


Only about 5% of the world’s oceans are protected, and the vast majority of existing marine parks and reserves are either poorly or not managed. And yet, from maintaining sources of food to helping protect shorelines, and from protecting biodiversity to providing income and jobs, MPAs can achieve so much. Healthy oceans are essential both all life on the planet as well as for the people living on the planet so we need to protect the oceans.


The MPA Action Agenda makes a unique and valuable combination of working on ocean protection and awareness for the topic on different levels globally with a variety of partners: from getting commitment on the highest political level to on the ground support in the establishment and management on the ground and creating awareness for ocean protection among the everyday person. Strong partnerships exists on all levels and different approaches in protection of marine areas are used to the strength of the group.


Better ocean protection is achieved through different ways by the MPA Action Agenda; providing technical and financial capacity to accelerate effectiveness of MPAs and LMMAs, fostering shared learning between MPA and LMMA managers, producing online training modules based on best practices, documenting and communicating the contribution of these MPAs and LMMAs toward the achievement of sustainable development as well as communicating to the wider global community on the importance of MPAs and LMMAs to coastal communities and the everyday person.


Our core team

Malou van Kempen

Malou van Kempen holds an M.Sc. degree in Tourism and Environment from Wageningen University and Research. After having lived in Greece, the Caribbean, Ecuador and Australia, her passion for diving and nature brought her to WWF in 2016. Nowadays, as a marine advisor, she is responsible for the management of several international marine programmes, including the MPA Action Agenda. The coordination of the push projects, international knowledge sharing and the facilitation of the MPA Action Group are among her responsibilities.

Do not hesitate to contact Malou for any questions about the MPA Action Agenda.

Stephanie Verbeek

Stephanie Verbeek is head of unit oceans of WWF-Netherlands. She holds an MSc in geology (University of Utrecht) and an MSc in policy, management and entrepreneurship (VU Amsterdam University). With a background in system dynamics, stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange in earlier positions, Stephanie later worked as a consultant in the fields of sustainability and area restoration. Since 2011, she is part of the ocean unit of WWF and has been the leading expert in MPA projects in the Netherlands and Cuba. From 2012 to 2015, she was the manager of the MPA Action Agenda programme before she became head of unit oceans in 2016.