MPAs

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Ocean Reserves

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Much of what we learn – in the MPA field and in life in general – is not from formal education. It comes from learning it ourselves, or receiving advice from a colleague, or simply trial and error. This kind of knowledge is often difficult to find anywhere else.

In the 18 years that MPA News has been in publication, we have asked practitioners for lessons learned, and practices developed. We have published numerous tips on how to work more efficiently or effectively. But we have not asked you for the most fundamental, essential advice you have gained from your work.

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In October 2017, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) fell short again of reaching consensus on a proposal to designate a large new system of MPAs off the coast of East Antarctica. But objections to the plan are narrowing.

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In the rural municipality of Mangagoulack in southern Senegal, uncontrolled fishing and other ecosystem exploitation depleted the area’s biodiversity and the livelihoods that depended on it. By the year 2000, food quality and food security were low for Mangagoulack’s eight villages. Governance by national and regional officials was inadequate.

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Contest: “Most Beautiful MPA Office in the World”

Some MPA managers, planners, and conservationists work in relatively plain office buildings. But others work in beachfront villas, or on-the-water ranger stations, or in an actual royal castle (as WWF Sweden does). Do you work in a beautiful office? If so, please send us a photo! We will print entries in MPA News and invite readers to vote in a future issue. The winner will be named “Most Beautiful MPA Office in the World” and receive a limited edition MPA News tote bag.

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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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