By Fiona Gell and Callum Roberts
The World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), seeks to protect the world's most important cultural and natural heritage. In designating more than 700 locales as World Heritage sites - from Vatican City to the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef - the 177 state parties to the convention have indicated their desire to see these places preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Re-zoning plan for Great Barrier Reef delivered to Australian Parliament
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.