The effectiveness of watershed management has direct bearing on the scope and scale of challenges we face with marine EBM. Freshwater ecosystems that are degraded or poorly managed contribute in turn to degradation of marine ecosystems, including in the form of altered productivity and loss of ecosystem services. Freshwater systems deliver pollutants to coastal waters, changing the nature of many coastal environments and even affecting benthic and pelagic ecosystems offshore.
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of software tools for facilitating EBM processes, and to provide advice on using those tools effectively. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of leading tool users, developers, and training providers.
By Sarah Carr
The Danube River Basin covers parts of 19 countries in Europe, making it the world's most international river basin. In size it is also noteworthy: with a total area of 801,463 km2, it is Europe's second largest river basin. The ecosystems of the Danube River Basin - and, by extension, the Black Sea, into which the Danube drains - are highly valuable in environmental, economic, historical and social terms. But they are also subject to increasing pressure and significant pollution from agriculture, industry and cities.
Editor's note: The link between watershed management and marine EBM is no better exemplified than in the case of Chesapeake Bay, on the east coast of the US. Significant efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake over several decades have focused largely on reducing upstream pollution. So far, however, those efforts have been unsuccessful in returning the bay to good health (see box at the end of the following essay).
Massachusetts passes ocean law
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: