Many areas of the ocean are off-limits to human activity for reasons other than conservation. Zones around coastal military bases may be completely closed for security purposes. Waters around oil platforms often restrict fishing or access in general. Anchoring is forbidden around undersea cables. These restrictions, by the fact that they limit some human impacts on these ocean sites, provide a degree of protection for the ecosystems there. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as "de facto marine protected areas" - meaning MPAs in practice but not in law.
Editor's note: David Obura is East Africa coordinator of Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO), an international research program. Gabriel Grimsditch is program associate with CORDIO. Ameer Abdulla is senior specialist in marine biodiversity and conservation science with IUCN.
By David Obura, Gabriel Grimsditch, and Ameer Abdulla
After the US, which nation has the second-largest total marine area? France. With island territories worldwide, France's combined Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial sea total more than 11 million km2.
Convention on Biological Diversity adopts criteria, guidance for high seas MPAs
Last month's MPA News described how endowments can help provide sustainable financing for MPAs. To establish such endowments requires money. The Nature Conservancy and other international NGOs and institutions have helped finance several MPA-related endowments in recent years. Below, Bill Raynor and Trina Leberer of The Nature Conservancy's Micronesia Program offer advice for MPA practitioners on how to approach potential donors for endowments:
There are multiple sources of financing for MPAs, including domestic government budgets, international assistance, visitor fees, and more. While each source plays a vital role for sites worldwide, it can also be subject to fluctuation. Domestic budgets can be cut. International donors can change their area of interest. Tourism rates can rise and fall. These variations create instability for MPA management.
Editor's note: Sabine Jessen is national manager of the Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), an NGO.
By Sabine Jessen
Editor's note: Jan-Willem van Bochove is chief technical advisor to Coral Cay Conservation, a UK-based NGO that works to sustain livelihoods and alleviate poverty through protection and restoration of coral reefs and tropical forests.
By Jan-Willem van Bochove
Dear MPA News:
Upon reading the April 2008 issue of MPA News, I was surprised, if not somewhat dismayed, at the unduly rosy description you gave of the Red Sea Marine Peace Park (RSMPP). I conducted research on this transboundary "marine protected area" for my doctoral dissertation. I would characterize this as a proposed protected area that unfortunately has had neither the funding nor the political and institutional commitment it needs.