In preparation for the forthcoming World Parks Congress, the November 6th edition of Nature includes a series of comments in which "experts share their priorities for what must be done to make protected areas more effective at conserving global biodiversity". These include several contributions which are particularly relevant to marine protected areas.
Peter Jones discusses the need to Assess Governance Structures:
"Projects such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Green List are beginning to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas systematically. This will help to shift the focus of conservation efforts from targets assessed just by hectares to other, more-meaningful objectives, focused on effectiveness. But to learn from successes and failures, we must also evaluate governance systems". Drawing on two case studies (Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania and Cres-Lošinj Special Marine Reserve, Croatia) and related arguments from his book Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity, he concludes that "too often, conservation discussions descend into unproductive debates about which governance approach is best, but the best solution varies with context. We need to learn the principles to match combinations of approaches with situations. The key to resilience is diversity — both of species in ecosystems and approaches in governance systems."
See previous review of this book in Nature - blog related to this book resilience and protection of the marine environment - interview in MPA News on this book - letter to MEAM drawing on book on need to combine MPA governance approaches to address scale challenges
Nature's 'To-do List for the World's Parks' also includes a comment by:
Bob Pressey: Maximize returns on conservation, which focuses on the need to place protection where it can make the most difference, rather than in residual areas, including MPA examples
Douglas J. McCauley: Mega-parks need greater oversight, on three actions which must be taken to ensure that mega-parks do more good than harm for the world's seas
Lance Morgan: Protect diverse marine habitats, on the importance of the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) to accelerate the establishment of highly effective biodiversity refuges
Hugh Possingham: Represent ecosystems, on the need to ensure that protected areas better represent the diversity of habitats and species, using the Marxan software
Lee White: Manage parks professionally, on the need to strengthen and professionalize park management
Emily Darling: Conserve climate refuges, on the need incorporate climate refuges into conservation portfolios and protected areas, using the example of coral reefs
There is also an excellent news article by Daniel Cressey in the same issue of Nature - Future of Great Barrier Reef divides scientists: Marine-park management comes under scrutiny as conservationists descend on Australia.