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In accordance with Aichi Target 11, attention must be paid not only to the quantitative objective of protecting 10 percent of the ocean’s surface, but also to the quality of that protection: marine protected areas must be “effectively and equitably managed”. Accordingly, how are management concepts evolving and what are the best conservation strategies and techniques – based on what assessment? How can management plans be further improved and how can they be enforced safely and consistently? Finally, what could be the mechanisms for financing and funding management? Remember: no tools, no management!
This stream addresses various issues relevant to the management of MPAs, including ones that have attracted outstanding attention from contributors, such as management plan, stakeholder engagement and MPA.
A central concern of MPAs administrators lies in taking into account different contexts and diverse interests. This is the raison d’être of management plans: they define site-specific conservation objectives, action programs, regulations, monitoring instruments, as well as control and surveillance procedures.
Management plans are increasingly broadening their scope to encompass socio-economic development, through the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders.
MPA managers’ every effort hinges on their ability to secure sustainable financing. Because a critical output is expected of the congress in this respect, experience-informed exchanges will lead to concrete proposals.
The last few years have seen a growing interest in developing standards for the assessment and certification of protected-area management, as well as for the professionalization of protected-area management skills. Both efforts are related and stem from a desire to improve recognition and rewards for effective, well-managed sites and for capacity-building among their staff.
What strategies may be envisioned for delivering a global certification, taking into account the diversity of MPAs and ensuring compatibility with existing schemes? The use of IUCN Protected Area categories will be discussed and compared to potential alternatives, as well as the ongoing IUCN program to create a Green List of well-managed protected areas. In parallel, one workshop will look at the professionalization of MPA managers through training programmes.
Once a management plan is agreed upon, it remains to be enforced, monitored and assessed. Here again, tools and methods must be chosen to match the specific context. They will be discussed from experience, paying attention to recent developments, success stories and remaining issues.
Linking MPAs is key to developing a global conservation strategy and meeting ecological objectives more effectively and more comprehensively than through individual sites alone. The notion of MPA networks reflects the high interconnection of marine ecosystems and the long range of migratory species.
MPA networks can be conceived from various perspectives, ranging from the ecosystem approach based on connectivity issues to broader human approaches relying on Marine Spatial Planning. In keeping with Aichi Target 11, it is important that MPA networks be planned with the global picture in mind.
Planners must keep in mind the global context in which they are working, dominated by the menace of climate change.