In marine and coastal environments, direct causes of biodiversity loss include: over-exploitation of living marine resources, pollution, introduction of alien species, and habitat destruction and degradation, among others. More indirect (underlying) causes include: policies and programs of international financial institutions, economic and other incentive and dis-incentive systems, land and sea tenure and access arrangements, and the undervaluing of biodiversity.
Most of the world's governments gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia in November 1995 for the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-2) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The meeting marked the first time the international community addressed in a comprehensive way the urgent, global problem of marine and coastal biodiversity loss. The decisions taken on this topic were referred to collectively in the Ministerial Statement issued at COP-2 as the Jakarta Mandate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (Jakarta Mandate).