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In Chile in September at the Fourth International MPA Congress, there was a side event on satellite-based surveillance of illegal fisheries. It was unique in that there were several Chilean naval officers in uniform in the audience. And the first speaker offered what was perhaps the most memorable line of the conference: “Are we at a point where we may finally put the ‘P’ in MPA?”

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New ideas on how the social sciences could change ocean conservation

The current issue of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the sister newsletter of MPA News, features an article titled “New ideas on how the social sciences could change the way we do ocean conservation and management – and already are”. The article highlights ideas from 17 social science and interdisciplinary researchers worldwide.

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The public comment area is down this page, following my brief thoughts here.

The fundamental purpose of MPA News is to help practitioners make their sites more effective. Sometimes this involves theoretical discussions, like What is effectiveness? Other times it involves more applied guidance, like how to build trust with stakeholders.

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The next three years will lay much of the groundwork for the MPA field for years to come. As nations gear up to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 as well as Aichi Target 11 under the Convention on Biological Diversity — both of which call for 10% of coastal and marine areas to be protected by 2020 — they will face some decisions. Namely:

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From 5-9 June 2017, the United Nations Headquarters in New York hosted its first-ever Ocean Conference, attracting thousands of government officials and institutions to discuss implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans.

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By Chris Williams, Sue Wells, and Matt Doggett

The inter-relationships among science, policy, and management were the focus of a UK conference on MPAs organized by the Poole Harbour Study Group and the Estuarine and Coastal Science Association in May. This brought together a wide range of academics, practitioners, and regulators to discuss key issues and challenges facing MPAs both globally and nationally (full details available here: http://www.pooleharbourstudygroup.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Programme.pdf). 

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In September 2016, several institutions — Conservation International (CI), The Walton Family Foundation, the Global Environment Facility, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — announced a joint effort to support long-term protection of Indonesia's Bird's Head region, a highly diverse marine area in West Papua, Indonesia.

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The public comment period remains open on the federal review that could result in major changes to five of the US’s largest MPAs: the 250,000-km2 Marianas Trench Marine National Monument; 12,720-km2 Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument; 490,000-km2 Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; 1.5 million-km2 Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument; and 34,000-km2 Ro

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