Marine Habitats Initiative

Set up in 2007, ClientEarth is Europe’s leading environmental law organisation. Using the power of law, science and communication we develop innovative strategies and tools for tackling biodiversity loss and other environmental challenges that threaten people and the planet. With offices in multiple countries, and activity across Europe, West Africa, and China, ClientEarth’s work has international scope.


We have a well-established programme of work in place to protect the ocean. Within our Oceans Programme, we work to strengthen and enforce laws to substantially reduce pressure on marine ecosystems, particularly from overfishing, habitat degradation, and pollution. Our vision is to restore the ocean to health, ensuring that marine life and habitats are diverse and thriving, and are able to support sustainable livelihoods for generations to come.


Marine ecosystems face a myriad of pressures from human activities such as fishing, shipping and construction. The establishment and effective management of legally protected marine areas (MPAs) is one of the best ways to protect vulnerable marine habitats and species. ClientEarth’s work on MPAs, supported by the Levine Family Foundation, uses legal arguments to put pressure on national governments to introduce robust and enforceable management measures and ultimately stop allowing damaging activities in MPAs.


ClientEarth’s Oceans team has a track record of success in using EU laws to secure sound management of marine protected areas (MPAs). Since 2012, the team has successfully deployed legal arguments to prohibit damaging fishing in MPAs, particularly in areas that are part of the EU-wide network of Natura 2000 sites.

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