OpenChannels News

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on May 19, 2014 - 10:00am, by nwehner

Via Conservation Law Foundation

"Congress has finally announced a bipartisan compromise on legislation to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act (WRRDA). Thanks to the leadership of Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and California Senator Barbara Boxer, a potentially damaging rider that would have prohibited the US Army Corps of Engineers from working with states and tribes to improve regional management was left out of the final bill. If the provision had been included in the bill – which contains billions of dollars in projects – management decisions for our nation’s coasts and waterways, vitally important for New England states, would have suffered greatly.

The rider, promoted by GOP Congressman Bill Flores of Waco, Texas, would have prohibited the US Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the National Ocean Policy and disallowed the Nation’s leading manager of waterways from coordinating with states, businesses, scientists and coastal users in devising plans for managing coasts, oceans and the Great Lakes. Rep. Flores’ attempt to stop new collaboration and planning among federal and state agencies and ocean users, such as energy developers and shipping interests, ignores the hundreds of billions of dollars of economic value in coastal and Great Lakes commerce, which to a large degree depend upon a network of integrated management.

CLF loudly applauds New England’s Representatives Pingree (ME-1), Michaud (ME-2), Neal (MA-1), Shea-Porter (NH-1), Kuster (NH-2), Welch (VT), McGovern (MA-2), Tsongas (MA-3), Kennedy (MA-4), Tierney (MA-6), Capuano (MA-7), Lynch (MA-8), Keating (MA-9), Cicillene (RI-1), Langevin (RI-2), Larson, (CT-1), Courtney (CT-2), DeLauro (CT-3), Himes (CT-4), and Esty (CT- 5), all of whom voted correctly to oppose the Flores rider."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on May 19, 2014 - 9:50am, by nwehner

Via The Fiji Times Online

"The Australian Government gave equipment to fish wardens in the Mali district in order to boost the district's fight against poaching.

The equipment included binoculars, compasses, reflectors, mobile devices and life jackets, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through its Fiji Community Development Program.

The new equipment is earmarked to assist the community comply with Marine Protected Area management rules and best practices."

MPA News

A multitude of potential funding streams exist for MPAs. There are the common ones - direct government support and visitor fees. There are also less common options, like payments for ecosystem services, trust funds, crowdfunding, and the creative marketing of facilities and souvenirs. One MPA, Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area in Honduras, even earned revenue from hosting an Italian reality television show, The Celebrity Island, for three years (US $600,000 per year from 2006-2008).

MPA News

The new book Governing MPAs: resilience through diversity, by Peter Jones of University College London, explores the factors that contribute to effective and equitable governance of MPAs. Drawing on case studies from around the world, the book concludes that MPAs require a diversity of governance approaches and incentives to be successful. (The book is available at By using the discount code DC361, the price is lowered to £40 [US $67.50].)

MPA News

A new paper in the journal Biological Conservation analyzes the ways in which climate change and connectivity have been accommodated in MPA planning. Based on the review, the research team recommends several approaches that practitioners can take to ensure that future climate change is integrated in planning, and measured as it occurs. These approaches include using generic rules of thumb for size and spacing of MPAs, and applying replication to the conservation of desirable features, among other strategies.

MPA News

As part of a program to help address the management capacity needs of Caribbean MPAs, priority sites that lack adequate management plans are receiving hands-on planning assistance. The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), with support from the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is aiding MPAs that either have no management plans in place or have plans that are significantly out of date.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on May 16, 2014 - 10:57am, by nwehner

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

This talk will discuss the need to embed impact evaluations of conservation programs in a more comprehensive economic framework. Impact evaluations typically pay no attention to heterogeneity in the costs and benefits of conservation programs, but such heterogeneity is fundamental to conservation decisions. On their own, the results of impact evaluations offer little guidance for conservation decisions. They must be combined with information on costs and benefits: evaluation must be combined with valuation.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on May 15, 2014 - 2:45pm, by nwehner

Via Ecologic Institute

"Ecologic Institute and its partners are pleased to announce the 2014 Arctic Summer College and are seeking applications from emerging leaders working to improve Arctic governance from around the world.

The Arctic Summer College creates a network of emerging leaders and experts that will be brought together for 10 weeks in a series of web-based seminars (webinars) Mondays from 18:00-20:00 Central European Time from June 23 to August 25, 2014. The program aims to build a lasting, policy-oriented network of Arctic professionals to strengthen communication between peoples and nations, scientific disciplines, policy areas, and across the science-policy interface to improve governance and sustainable development in the Arctic.

Participation in the Arctic Summer College is open to applicants with ideally 2-10 years of experience in a related field, and a desire to share perspectives and seek professional collaboration with a network of peers. The course will be conducted in English. Applicants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process by June 6, 2014"

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on May 15, 2014 - 2:34pm, by nwehner

Via Nature Seychelles

As a spin-off to the USAID-funded coral reef restoration project I'm coordinating in Seychelles, we initiated a collaboration with an 5-star all-inclusive resort to restore a "coral garden", a small coral reef. This is part of a shallow coral reef (max depth 6 m) that was a vibrant site before the  mass coral bleaching resulting from the 1998 El Nino + Indian Ocean Dipole event.

The collaboration was possible after we secured funding from GOS/UNDP/GEF (Government of Seychelles/United Nations Development Program/Global Environmental Fund) through their Small Grants Program.

Today we finished transplantation in the coral garden. Fieldwork was completed in 1 month.  The resort will monitor the coral garden progress during the next 11 months.