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By Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation St. Maarten (adapted by MPA News)

For a long time there was little government management of the marine environment in the Caribbean island nation of St. Maarten. In 1997, the Nature Foundation St. Maarten was established in order to set up and manage a marine park, under contract from the St. Maarten government. But the proposed park failed to gain political support: the way it was designed, the park would have had significant impacts on the country’s cruise ship industry, dive shop operators, and fishers.

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There is perhaps no topic of greater interest to the MPA field than financing. A search through the MPA News archives reveals that over the years we have covered the subject dozens of times — from how to diversify funding streams, to starting successful endowments, to building strong fundraising programs, and much more.

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There are some excellent publications available to guide protected areas in developing new revenue streams, including IUCN’s Sustainable Financing of Protected Areas, several reports by the Conservation Finance Alliance, and more. (Following this article, this issue of MPA News contains a library of resources on conservation financing.)

But implementing new revenue strategies based simply on guidelines from a report may not always be easy. This is particularly the case if your management team does not already have a background in business or financing. In this situation, having a partner institution to serve as an experienced guide can be a great help in diversifying revenues successfully.

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The first workshop to implement a new tool for conservation — Important Marine Mammal Areas, or IMMAs — was held in Chania, Greece, from 24-28 October. The workshop was organized by the IUCN WCPA-SSC Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, which devised IMMAs to represent the priority sites for marine mammal conservation worldwide.

Although IMMAs are not necessarily protected areas, they could inform a variety of conservation outcomes, including the siting of MPAs, creation of directives on shipping or underwater noise, and increased monitoring.

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By Angelique M. Songco, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (adapted by MPA News)

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) Act showcases the successful management of a remote no-take reserve in the Philippines. The formulation of policies for TRNP involved multiple consultations with a cross-section of society, from village to national level. The consultative process ensured that the impacted communities and stakeholders were able to shape the contours of the law, thereby embedding fairness in rule-making and inspiring voluntary compliance.

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Mexico designates three marine biosphere reserves

On 5 December the Mexican Government designated three new marine biosphere reserves totaling more than 647,000 km2. All three sites are multiple-use, with some zones that are strictly protected and others that are sustainably managed:

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Dear reader,

Welcome to our second all-electronic issue! If you previously received MPA News on paper, we have switched you to email delivery.

We have returned to monthly distribution — the same frequency we had for the first decade of MPA News. In general this will mean more frequent and more concise issues. 

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The world will soon have a new largest protected area, marine or terrestrial. In October, member states of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed by consensus to designate a 1.55 million-km2 MPA in the remote and relatively pristine Ross Sea. The purpose is to protect benthic biodiversity, populations of commercially valuable toothfish, and critical habitat for penguins, seals, and other predators.

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