The list of potential benefits from closing ocean areas to extractive uses include the conservation of biodiversity within these reserves and the improvement of conditions for fisheries outside of them - the latter owing to the export of larvae and spillover of adults from the protected areas. Some marine reserves have been designated with both conservation and increased fisheries yields as goals, seeking a win-win situation for biodiversity and fishermen.
By Trevor Willis, Russell Millar, Russ Babcock & Nick Tolimieri
By Fiona Gell and Callum Roberts
The World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), seeks to protect the world's most important cultural and natural heritage. In designating more than 700 locales as World Heritage sites - from Vatican City to the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef - the 177 state parties to the convention have indicated their desire to see these places preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Re-zoning plan for Great Barrier Reef delivered to Australian Parliament
The shortage of funding for protected areas often spurs conservation planners to search for new revenue sources outside the conventional support realm of governments, donors, and multilateral agencies. But a strategy focused solely on new revenue generation is likely to fail, says Andreas Merkl, executive director of the US-based Conservation and Community Investment Forum (CCIF). A considerable pool of potential capital is actually available from conventional sources, he says.