Scientists now recognize that ecosystems can sometimes undergo abrupt, dramatic changes in response to human use or environmental conditions. When a tipping point like this is crossed, we can witness upheaval in ecosystem structure and function and in ecosystem benefits to people. These tipping points can be hard to reverse due to feedbacks that reinforce the new state.
The Skimmer & MPA News
By Carlos A. Espinosa, Néstor J. Windevoxhel, and Juan C. Villagran
Protected areas in Central America showcase the region’s magnificent landscape and tropical biodiversity – terrestrial and marine. They help maintain a sustainable supply of water, food, and other natural resources essential for all life in the region. And they provide Central America’s inhabitants a way to protect their own economy, welfare, and future.
By Angelo O’Connor Villagomez, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project senior officer
As more countries designate MPAs in their territories, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which for over 70 years has been the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to conserve it, has recently provided clarity to help countries more accurately report their MPAs to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).
By Captain Joseph Ierna Jr.
It is time to challenge private and public sectors to direct funding resources to operate our protected areas. I am encouraged here at the ECLSP: we are on the forefront of setting standards in operating financially sustainable national parks, including eventually across The Bahamas’ national system of 32 sites. This is the future for protected areas.
By Anne Nelson and the IMPACT team
Relationships built on trust between MPA management and stakeholders can strengthen community support for MPAs. By fostering such support, these relationships can help MPAs meet their management goals.
Ideally the relationships extend broadly through local communities, resource users, and MPA managers and related agencies. Building relationships early and consistently across these groups can be a relatively simple, productive, and positive experience. Here are useful strategies we’ve observed from managers:
Researchers rely on statistics in their work and p-values are a commonly used statistical tool, including in fisheries and marine conservation science (among many other fields). P-values are widely interpreted as a way to determine the probability that a null hypothesis is true or false. A p-value less than 0.05, for example, is often taken to mean an experiment’s findings are “significant” and the null hypothesis should therefore be assumed false.
These recent articles on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Jones K. R. et al. “The Location and Protection Status of Earth’s Diminishing Marine Wilderness.” Current Biology (2018) [Editor’s note: this paper is temporarily free to access. However, the original manuscript will continue to be available for free at https://marxiv.org/azq53.]
Large meteorite lands in MPA
Add this to the tasks of an MPA manager: What do you do when a large meteorite lands in your MPA? The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS), off the Pacific coast of the US, asked that question in March 2018 when a two-ton space rock flew into Earth’s atmosphere, became a giant fireball, broke up into countless pieces, and crashed into the MPA’s waters. The impact was detected on seismometers nearly 3000 km away.
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific knowledge on marine litter and ocean plastics. It is based in part on a longer, more detailed article from November 2017 by MPA News’ affiliated service Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM).
If you are interested in this topic, please note that OCTO – the organization that produces MPA News and MEAM – also runs the global discussion list on marine litter and ocean plastics: MarineDebris.Info. It is a thriving community. In April 2018, for example, there were over 170 member posts to the list. To subscribe to the MarineDebris.Info email discussion list, click here.