This indicator measures the proportion of marine protected areas as a share of the total territorial waters in a country. Marine protected areas are areas of intertidal or subtidal terrain--and overlying water and associated flora and fauna and historical and cultural features--that have been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. As threats to biodiversity mount, the international community is increasingly focusing on conserving diversity. Deforestation is a major cause of loss of biodiversity, and habitat conservation is vital for stemming this loss. Conservation efforts have focused on protecting areas of high biodiversity. Increasing the proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected helps defend vulnerable plant and animal species and safeguard biodiversity. (Source: http://databank.worldbank.org/data/reports.aspx?source=2&type=metadata&series=ER.MRN.PTMR.ZS)
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