MEAM and MPA News

MPA News

Cook Islands announces MPA will cover entire EEZ

In mid-November, the South Pacific island nation of the Cook Islands announced that the proposed Marae Moana (Cook Islands Marine Park), which has been under planning since 2012, will now cover the nation’s entire 1.9 million-km2 EEZ. Previously the plan had been for the MPA to cover just the southern half of the nation’s EEZ. The decision to expand the planned MPA was based on consultations with stakeholders in the Cook Islands’ northern island group, as well as local and outside scientific information.

MEAM

So the presidential election in the United States has us thinking…. The time scales at which ocean issues develop and can be addressed (e.g., sea level rise, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, loss of biodiversity) often stretch over decades – or centuries – whereas political cycles and management regimes often last for only a few years. How does the disconnect between the time scales of problem development and policy response affect your work? Are good projects abandoned or never even started? Have you found ways to keep working towards long-term solutions despite shifting governance and priorities? Do you have any suggestions for other conservation/management practitioners dealing with these issues?

MEAM

Last month, MEAM covered impact investing – that is, investment in ventures or initiatives that have positive social or environmental results as well as financial returns – and its potential for helping ocean ecosystems and communities. In this issue of MEAM, we learn from two entrepreneurs, Kelly Wachowicz of Catch Invest and José Koechlin of Inkaterra, about specific ventures they believe can lead to healthier ocean ecosystems and communities as well as financial profits for investors.

MPA News

MPA News has been produced for the past 17 years, and a lot has happened in that time. Thousands of MPAs have been designated, hundreds of studies have been published, countless policies and laws have been implemented. But September 2016 was unlike any month we have seen. Over the course of 30 days, more happened in the MPA field than we have witnessed in such a span before:

  • An ambitious new 30% coverage target was set for the MPA field

  • New MPAs totaling millions of square kilometers were designated

MPA News

The biggest marine news from the IUCN World Conservation Congress, held in Hawai'i in September, was the approval by IUCN members of a new global target for MPAs. It calls for “30% of each marine habitat” to be set aside in “highly protected MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures” by 2030, with the ultimate aim being ”a fully sustainable ocean, at least 30% of which has no extractive activities.”

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