News and Updates
Over the past two decades, much of the effort among proponents of marine protected areas has focused on securing designation of new sites. Thousands of MPAs now exist worldwide, with more to come as nations work to establish representative MPA networks. While some of these sites are meeting their goals, many are having difficulty, with financial shortfalls, low compliance, and other challenges. Ineffective MPAs may be little better than having no protection at all.
Editor's note: Sue Wells, a private consultant to the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, coordinated the theme on "Ensuring Effective Management" at the First International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC1) in October 2005 in Geelong, Australia. Nancy Dahl-Tacconi is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia, studying the roles of scientific methods and participatory processes in evaluating MPA effectiveness.
By Sue Wells and Nancy Dahl-Tacconi
By Sue Wells and Nancy Dahl-Tacconi
Many methods are being developed and tested for evaluating MPA management effectiveness. This is good: different situations and needs of MPAs require different methods of evaluation. Bear in mind that the various methods are not mutually exclusive. There is potential for combining parts of them, as well as others developed for terrestrial protected areas or more general coastal management initiatives, to create evaluations that cater to specific needs.
Marc Hockings is vice-chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), responsible for WCPA's program of Science, Knowledge and Management, which includes work on management effectiveness. He co-authored the IUCN report Evaluating Effectiveness: A Framework for Assessing the Management of Protected Areas with Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley in 2000 (http://www.iucn.org/themes/wcpa/pubs/guidelines.htm); a revised version is due for release in mid-2006.
Australian government releases final plan for MPA network in SE Australia
Editor's note: Bryan Oles, Charlie Wahle, and Sarah Fischer work with the (US) National MPA Center, established in 2000 within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide science, information, and tools for an effective national system of MPAs (http://www.mpa.gov). Marc Miller and Patrick Christie are on the faculty at the School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, USA.
The Pacific island nation of Kiribati (pronounced Kee-ree-bahss) has designated one of the world's largest MPAs in a bid to guard against overfishing and climate change. The nearly uninhabited Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), encompassing 184,700 km2 with eight atolls and two submerged reef systems, covers an area more than half the size of Germany.
Editor's note: Kevin Stokes is chief scientist for the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC). He also chairs the advisory board for Victoria University of Wellington's Centre for Marine Environmental and Economic Research. Prior to his work in New Zealand, Stokes served as chair of the European Commission's Scientific, Technical, and Economic Committee on Fisheries, and was the UK delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management.
Editor's note: Bertrand Cazalet is a Ph.D. student in public law at the University of Perpignan, France. From 2002-2005, he assisted the European Commission-funded CONSDEV project, described in the following essay.
By Bertrand Cazalet