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Because the deterioration of marine ecosystems has multiple and complex causes, protecting the oceans necessarily involves a collective and cross-sectoral effort. The challenge lies in bringing home to users, and especially to industries, the extent to which different marine ecosystems depend on each other – just as the different uses that are made of them are interconnected. Only then will the separate players assume their own share of responsibility. Promising developments that help MPAs connect with widest possible spectrum of users include: the increasing participation of stakeholders in the governance of MPAs; the development of ecosystem-services valuation; and the growing familiarity of MPA managers with communication techniques.
Strengthening MPA governance and finances is essential to eventually meet Aichi Target 11. This stream addresses, among other issues, how to govern MPA networks, how to enforce MPAs in the high seas, and what mechanisms MPA managers can rely on for financing and funding.
According to the law of the sea, no legal tools exist to set up MPAs in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJs), which represent about half of the ocean’s surface. How can this gap be addressed?
Enforcement and control are difficult to conduct at sea, making MPA governance frameworks complex. Yet MPA networks require governance frameworks of their own, adding another level of complexity. How can these different levels of governance be articulated smoothly?
Experts and practitioners need to exchange views and provide feedback on ways to fund MPAs, including fundraising, financing mechanisms, and economic approaches such as ecosystem-services valuation and compensation.
While MPAs primarily serve to conserve marine biodiversity, they play a number of other social roles.
How can MPAs interact with the wider society, by involving citizens, supporting local communities, and fostering initiatives in terms of communication and education?
Collaboration is key to improving MPA governance and strengthening the role of MPAs in society. But how can it be enhanced practically? Managers will discuss methods for consulting and involving local communities.
MPAs play a central role in structuring the use of marine areas through marine special planning. They provide both an understanding of marine ecosystems and a vision for local and regional development.
But this vision must be shared by all coastal stakeholders who depend on MPAs – hence the importance of dialogue.
How relevant and efficient are MPAs as fishery management tools? The question will be addressed from the perspectives of multiple players, including fishermen, fishery administrators, scientists, and local communities.
The objectives and means of MPAs are often misunderstood. Various communication tools can help introduce them to diverse audiences, including users and the broader public.
To achieve their conservation objectives, MPAs need clear and committed governance and management. This cannot be done in isolation. So how can the involvement of relevant stakeholders – local communities and industry among them – be secured at all levels?
MPA managers need effective methods and tools to consult and empower various components of society.
Local communities, especially in islands and remote coastal areas, have for generations based their livelihood mainly on sustainably managed marine resources. Even though they do not hold official MPA status, Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) must be recognized for their role in nature conservation.
Industries are often kept away from MPAs since they are perceived as threats to biodiversity. However, their sustainable development depends on the conservation of ecosystem services. For this reason, collaboration with the private sector is often fruitful, and win-win relationships can be worked out.