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.
New guidebook: Planning alternative livelihoods in context of biodiversity conservation
At least five ecologically significant MPAs should be designated on the high seas by 2008, according to delegates to the World Parks Congress, a once-a-decade meeting of government officials, scientists, and conservationists held last month in Durban, South Africa. Delegates also called on the United Nations General Assembly to consider placing a moratorium on bottom trawling in certain high-seas areas - seamounts and cold-water coral reefs - until longer-term measures are in place to protect these sites.
Many managers of marine protected areas have limited formal training in MPA management. In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), for example, it is often the case that MPA managers have received their training at wildlife management colleges, with little instruction in marine issues.
Madagascar to designate three MPAs; Senegal designates four
Tunas, sharks, sea turtles, and other large oceanic predators concentrate in diversity "hotspots" much like those that exist on land, according to new research by a team of German and Canadian scientists. The distinct locations at which these hotspots occur - at intermediate latitudes close to habitat features like coral reefs, shelf breaks, and seamounts - could provide the basis for open-ocean marine reserves to protect threatened species, say the researchers.
BOX: The Mediterranean - A Semi-Enclosed Sea Rich in Biodiversity, Culture, and MPA Initiatives
"The Mediterranean Sea is a place of paradox and surprises. Despite many people's image of the area as being vastly overpopulated, with built up shorelines, polluted waters, and over-exploited resources, the Mediterranean is in actuality a thriving, diverse ecosystem upon which people of many different cultures depend...."
Editor's note: Jake Rice is director of the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He manages the peer review and application of marine and fisheries science to policy formation and management decisionmaking. In this perspective piece, he expands on remarks he made at the May 2003 meeting of the Science and Management of Protected Areas Association (SAMPAA), held in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
By Jake Rice, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Last month, MPA News reported on the development of alternative livelihoods for fishermen, particularly those displaced by closure of fishing grounds, either for fisheries management or as part of an MPA. We cited a CDN$4-billion (US$2.8-billion) effort by the Canadian government since 1992 to help communities in Atlantic Canada adjust to cod fishery closures, through a license buyout, early retirement, skills training, and other programs. The case focused on insights from the government agencies that provided these programs.