According to a goal set by global leaders at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, a worldwide network of marine protected areas is supposed to be in place four years from now (MPA News 4:3). Termed the "2012 target", this goal is one of several established for the MPA community to meet in coming years. Measuring how effectively the world is meeting these objectives requires data.
Editor's note: Sue Wells is a private consultant. She co-authored the landmark IUCN report A Global Representative System of Marine Protected Areas, and is lead editor of Reef Encounter, the newsletter of the International Society for Reef Studies.
By Sue Wells
In South Africa in 2006-2007, a debate was waged over whether to reopen part of Tsitsikamma National Park to fishing. Designated in 1964, the park is among the oldest MPAs in Africa and has been fully no-take since 2000. The nation's Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) proposed last year that roughly one-tenth of the park be reopened to line-fishing by members of local communities on a controlled and monitored basis. The proposal was contested by biologists and conservationists who said reopening the protected area would be a step backward for marine conservation.
Uganda designates first aquatic reserve
"MPA Tip" is a recurring feature that presents advice on MPA planning and management gathered from practitioners and publications. Below we describe an innovative technique for restoring damaged seagrass beds. If you have a useful tip for addressing a problem in MPA planning or management, please tell us about it at mpanews [at] u.washington.edu. We would like to feature it in a future issue of MPA News.
Ecosystem-based management commonly involves "scaling up" from how other management practices have typically worked:
From single-species fisheries management to management of multi-species assemblages;
From looking at isolated drivers of change to considering all environmental and human impacts;
From design of individual protected areas to planning MPA networks; and
From conservation of a fragment of habitat to comprehensive spatial management.
The challenge of coordinating across scales in EBM is being met in different ways in different parts of the world. As highlighted in the preceding article, cross-scale EBM is being undertaken in West Africa using an MPA network as a starting point.
Editor's note: James Dobbin is a Canadian coastal planner with several decades of experience conducting coastal and marine assessment and management worldwide.
EBM Perspective: A Planner's View on Working Across Spatial Scales
By James Dobbin
Editor's note: The goal of the following feature, The EBM Toolbox, is to promote awareness of technology tools that can facilitate EBM processes, and 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 to promote awareness, development, and effective use of technology tools for EBM in coastal and marine environments and the watersheds that affect them.
A successful marine protected area is one that meets its goals. Whether those goals relate to conserving biodiversity, making resource use sustainable, or other purposes, MPA effectiveness is measured by what the site was designed to achieve.