Latest MPA News Articles

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For a marine protected area to be effective means it is successfully addressing threats to the features the MPA was designed to protect. So if an MPA is designed specifically to protect a certain benthic community — like a deep-sea coral reef — then it is effective if it minimizes or eliminates the threats to that community.

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Last November, MPA News speculated on whether the election of Donald Trump as US President would bring a rollback of MPAs — specifically the large marine national monuments that former President Barack Obama designated or expanded under the US Antiquities Act.

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Article:Marine protected areas need accountability not wasted dollars”, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 27, 4 - 9 (2017)

Finding: MPAs are largely assessed on a single numerical target (total area), and inconsistent self-identification adds an extra level of opaqueness and bias. The consequence is an unaccountable and under-performing system of MPAs worldwide. Ineffective MPAs should be screened out; MPAs’ effectiveness should be improved where possible; and investment should be redirected toward the largest gaps in the network.

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Are you looking for the IMPAC4 website?

The Fourth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) will be held 4-8 September 2017 in La Serena – Coquimbo, Chile. Are you looking for the official website? Click here. The Google search engine is not yet ranking the site highly, making it difficult to find. So please help spread the word – thanks.

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On 1 January 2016, member states of the United Nations adopted a series of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. These goals are expected to guide national development plans in the coming years. The SDGs are ambitious: they include such goals as ending poverty, ending hunger, ensuring healthy lives, and achieving sustainable consumption. And under each SDG are multiple specific targets. SDG 1 for example — to end poverty — includes targets to reduce the number of people living in poverty by at least half by 2030, and to eradicate extreme poverty all together.

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By Juan E. Bezaury-Creel, David Gutiérrez-Carbonell, and César Sánchez-Ibarra

On 7 December 2016, during the 13th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) held in Cancún, the Mexican Government designated three new MPAs totaling 647,015 km2. All three sites are multiple-use biosphere reserves, with some zones that are strictly protected (no-take) and others that are sustainably managed.

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Canada designates MPA to protect globally unique glass sponge reefs

On 16 February, the Government of Canada designated a 2410-km2 MPA along its Pacific coast to protect several globally unique and ancient glass sponge reefs. The glass sponges have mineral skeletons made of silica (hence their ‘glass’ name) and their reef structures are estimated to be 9000 years old. Glass sponge reefs of this size — once abundant during Earth’s Jurassic Period — were believed by scientists to be extinct before these colonies were discovered off Canada in 1987.

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In early 2016, a report by firms in the global financial sector estimated that conservation funding worldwide could be grown from its current level of US $52 billion to as much as $400 billion per year. How? Through private investment. If conservation projects could be made profitable — such as by generating revenue from ecotourism or by supporting sustainable resource extraction — nature protection would become attractive to investors. Investors would pay for protected areas, for example, and make their money back (with interest) on the tourism or other revenue-generating activities that occurred there.

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Stephen M. Kohn is Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC), a legal advocacy organization. The NWC has spent 30 years supporting whistleblowers, mostly in the banking and securities sector where awareness of the reward system is relatively high. When Kohn realized in 2015 that the whistleblower reward system also existed throughout US environmental law, he decided that a tool that worked successfully in fighting financial crime should be applied just as energetically to fighting wildlife crime.

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