New Zealand schoolchildren are being taught to snorkel in marine reserves as part of a program to raise awareness of, and appreciation for, the country's marine biodiversity. The snorkeling program, in operation since 2002, has worked with more than 7000 primary (elementary) school students so far. It is offered by the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) program of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust, supported by the NZ Department of Conservation. The EMR program serves to generate community support for the designation of MPAs.
Designated in 2005, the Urok Islands Marine Protected Area is Guinea Bissau's first community MPA. It is the fruit of 15 years of work by Tiniguena, a local NGO, in collaboration with local communities and institutions, the Fondation Internationale du Banc d'Arguin (FIBA), and other national and international partners. Lessons from planning and managing the Urok community MPA are documented in the report Live from Urok! Urok Islands Community Marine Protected Area: Lessons Learned and Impacts, available at http://bit.ly/cVWEux.
Editor's note: This "Building Resilience" feature is contributed by the Reef Resilience program of The Nature Conservancy (www.reefresilience.org). The program provides guidance on building resilience to climate change into the design of MPAs.
By Rebecca Cerroni, Reef Resilience Project Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Ecosystem-based management can be described relatively simply. It is an approach that uses ecosystem science - our knowledge of the connections among living organisms, natural phenomena, and human activities - to guide our uses of the ocean and coast. By doing so, we can ensure that those uses are sustainable and beneficial to society.
By Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)
EBM is a journey, not a destination. But even significant journeys can be undertaken by taking small, purposeful steps. In the San Andrés Archipelago of Colombia, resource management has moved deliberately toward EBM via a series of discrete regulatory and policy moves.
As a field, marine ecosystem-based management is relatively new. But some of the challenges its practitioners face are ones that people have encountered through history. A main challenge, for example, involves getting individuals and groups to change from a set way of doing things (in the oceans' case, managing resources on a single-sector basis) to a new way (integrating ocean management across multiple sectors and agencies). Managing that change can benefit from an understanding of why and when humans agree to alter how they do things.
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.
By Sarah Carr
Tools for modeling coastal hazard impacts and assessing the vulnerability of communities and ecosystems to these impacts include…
Scotland passes comprehensive marine law
In February, the Scottish Parliament passed a comprehensive marine bill that calls for establishment of a national marine plan by the government. It also establishes a simpler licensing system for marine uses and outlines processes by which the government may plan and manage new MPAs.
Managing a marine protected area means managing people. If people do not comply with the regulations in place to protect an MPA's resources, the MPA will most likely fail to meet its goals. Education can play a major role in encouraging compliance, both by building community support for conservation and by informing the public about the penalties for noncompliance. But in cases where education is not enough, enforcement becomes necessary.
In December 2007, MPA News spoke with Angelique Songco, manager of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in the Philippines, about enforcement challenges her offshore MPA faced (MPA News 9:6). A Chinese fishing vessel had been caught poaching hundreds of live fish in the no-take MPA one year before. Songco spoke of the delays in prosecution of the case, leading to the Chinese crew members becoming part of Palawan society while they awaited trial.