In discussions on the effects of climate change on coral reefs, the talk often turns to Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the world's largest barrier reef system. Some high-profile reports have forecast that, due to coral bleaching caused by climate change, the GBR could be severely threatened in coming decades. Most recently, a draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - leaked to the media in January 2007 - said the GBR would become "functionally extinct" by 2050.
The initiative to plan and designate a network of MPAs along the coast of the US state of California has entered its second phase, following the announcement in February 2007 of a task force to oversee planning for the state's north central coast.
Due to an editorial error in our February 2007 issue, the feature "Informing stakeholders during a public planning process" misidentified the work affiliation of Tim Allen. He works for the Australian Government in its Natural Resource Management Division.
Public awareness plays a central role in the success of coastal and marine conservation. Where MPAs are effective, there is usually strong community understanding of the benefits that can come from resource protection. By educating stakeholders on these benefits, and by honestly acknowledging and addressing an MPA's potential costs, practitioners can build a base of public support for conservation. That support translates to stakeholder compliance with MPA regulations, and greater trust between site managers and the community.
Editor's note: Leon Roskilly is national coordinator of the Sea Anglers' Conservation Network (SACN), a UK-based organization committed to sustainable recreational fishing. He adapted the following essay from a longer article of his, "Marine Protected Areas and Angling - A Discussion Document", posted on the SACN website in November 2006 (http://www.sacn.org.uk/Articles/Marine_Protected_Areas_and_Angling.html).
By Leon Roskilly
Scientific consensus: sea level could rise half a meter this century
The oceans offer increasing evidence that global climate change is underway. Sea surface temperature is rising, while polar sea-ice is retreating. Coral reefs are suffering from severe bleaching events. Amid these and other phenomena - as well as the growing number of disturbing scientific forecasts on the effects of climate change on marine systems - MPA practitioners may feel somewhat helpless. Already faced with the day-to-day challenges of MPA management, many practitioners are simply not addressing the long-term issue of climate change in a focused, meaningful way.
Editor's note: Rebecca Koss, with The People and Parks Foundation, is project officer for Sea Search, the program described in the following essay. Anthony Boxshall is manager of marine national parks research for Parks Victoria. Peter R. Brown is chief executive officer of The People and Parks Foundation.
By Rebecca Koss, Anthony Boxshall, and Peter Brown
The October 2006 edition of MPA News featured an article on the role of MPAs in ecosystem-based management (EBM), and vice versa. We invited readers to participate in a short online poll on the subject, with the goal of measuring baseline attitudes on the relationship between these management measures.