Multiple publications launched at World Parks Congress on MPA coverage, governance, tourism, and more

MPA News

The World Parks Congress offered a high-profile opportunity for institutions to launch new publications on protected areas. Here are a dozen publications that were revealed in Sydney.

Protected Planet Report 2014 (UNEP World Commission on Protected Areas; 80 pp.)

This is the latest in a series of reports to track world progress toward achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity's goal for global protected area coverage (Aichi Target 11). That target calls for at least 10% of coastal and marine areas to be conserved through "effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative, and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2020." According to the latest tally, 3.4% of the total ocean is currently in MPAs. That figure rises to 8.4% if only waters inside national jurisdictions (0-200 nm from shore) are considered, and to 10.9% in coastal waters (0-12 nm from shore). The high seas, outside any national jurisdiction, have just 0.25% MPA coverage.

To meet the 10% target in areas within national jurisdiction, a further 2.2 million km2 of MPAs will be required. For the 10% target to be reached on the high seas, an additional 21.5 million km2 will need to be protected there.

Few countries outside of the eastern Pacific Ocean have reached the target of 10% of marine areas protected; most countries report protected area coverage between 1% and 5%.

SeaStates G20 2014 report (Marine Conservation Institute, 18 pp.)

This report compares how the countries with the 20 largest economies in the world (the "G20 countries") compare in marine conservation, as measured by the percentage of their national waters set aside in no-take areas. Compiled using the MPAtlas database (, the report finds the US leading in no-take area coverage, with 9.88% of its waters off-limits to fishing. Only four other G20 countries have no-take coverage above 1%: UK (9.73%), South Africa (4.46%), Australia (4.13%), and Saudi Arabia (2.14%). "G20 member countries are the most financially able countries in the world," states the report. "Yet their commitment to protecting their coastal waters is lacking."

Protected Area Governance and Management (IUCN, 1000 pp.)

Announced at WPC, this enormous book will cover all aspects of protected area governance and management - combining original text, case studies from across the world, and the latest scientific literature. Five editors, 164 principal and supporting authors, and 27 peer reviewers contributed to the publication over a period of two and a half years. It will be available in print copy and free online in February 2015 at the URL below.

A Primer on Governance for Protected and Conserved Areas (IUCN, 24 pp.)

A basic text on the types of governance for protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. The primer also describes the IUCN principles of good governance for protected areas, and outlines the concept of governance vitality.

Building Networks of MPAs: New Insights from IMPAC 3 (supplement to the journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems; 245 pp.)

This journal supplement features 19 articles on key outcomes from the Third International MPA Congress (IMPAC 3), held in 2013 in Marseille, France. Covered topics include governance challenges, achieving ecological coherence, managing for migratory species, regional management issues, innovation in MPA communications, and much more. The articles are available for free.

Executive Summary: Focusing Action, Picking Up the Pace for Ocean Conservation (IMPAC 3 organizers; 60 pp.)

This report is the official summary of the Third International MPA Congress (IMPAC 3), held in 2013 in Marseille, France. It describes the conference's day-by-day coverage of issues, the high-level policy meeting that was convened immediately after IMPAC 3, and the planning for IMPAC 4, which will be held in Chile in 2017.

Tourism and Visitor Management in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Sustainability (IUCN; 269 pp.)

This is the third edition of IUCN's tourism management guidelines report, and represents a major update of the previous 2002 edition. The report includes contributions from more than 50 experts worldwide, and examples from 45 countries. It concludes that increasing the number of visitors to protected areas can be an effective tool for conservation and community development as long as well-functioning management systems are in place. The guidelines are intended to apply equally to terrestrial and marine protected areas - there is no separate chapter on MPAs. The report was launched at WPC but will not be available until 2015. However, a review copy of the report is available at the URL below.

Tourism Concessions in Protected Natural Areas: Guidelines for Managers (UNDP; 304 pp.)

This publication helps protected area staff to develop and manage concession activities in ways that maximize the benefits to conservation and communities. It walks the reader through planning for concessions, conducting environmental impact assessments, awarding business opportunities, working out contracts, monitoring performance, and more.

Fishermen Engagement in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas: A Key Element to the Success of Artisanal Fisheries Management (WWF MedPAN North project; 135 pp.)

This report describes several Mediterranean cases in which the designation of coastal MPAs, coupled with the involvement of artisanal fishermen in site planning and management, has resulted in stabilized or increasing fisheries yields. It calls for the same co-management approach to be applied broadly to Mediterranean MPAs as one of the solutions for sustainable fisheries.

Communicating for Success: Ensuring MPAs Are Valued (IUCN and the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; 48 pp.)

This guidebook outlines how to use communication not just as a tool for outreach but as a mechanism to help change a community's attitude and behavior toward an MPA. The publication describes how to create, implement, and evaluate a communication plan, as well as build communication partnerships.

The Futures of Privately Protected Areas (IUCN; 128 pp.)

This report offers a framework to allow governments to expand their use and support of privately protected areas (PPAs) as a conservation tool. It describes motivations behind the creation of PPAs, their advantages and disadvantages, social issues involved, and global PPA coverage. Most of the report's examples are terrestrial, with a few marine exceptions.

Attaining Aichi Target 11: How Well Are Marine Ecosystem Services Covered by Protected Areas? (The Nature Conservancy, University of Cambridge, World Resources Institute; BirdLife International, and UNEP-WCMC; 7 pp.)

This discussion paper overlays preliminary global maps of marine ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism, coastal protection) with MPA boundaries. Among its conclusions: marine ecosystem services need more systematic representation within protected areas, and this should be integrated into ongoing efforts to optimize MPA network expansion.

Compendium of Training Courses on Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Marine Protected Areas in India (Wildlife Institute of India and GIZ India; 128 pp.)

This report provides details on training courses in coastal and marine biodiversity and protected areas in India, and also offers profiles of the 27 institutions offering such courses. It is intended as a source of reference for anyone considering professional training in the sector, while helping the training institutions forge linkages with one another.

BOX: General coverage of the World Parks Congress