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Evaluating the social and ecological effectiveness of partially protected marine areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a primary tool for the stewardship, conservation, and restoration of marine ecosystems, yet 69% of global MPAs are only partially protected (i.e., are open to some form of fishing). Although fully protected areas have well-documented outcomes, including increased fish diversity and biomass, the effectiveness of partially protected areas is contested.

Essential indicators for measuring site-based conservation effectiveness in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Work on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is now well advanced andwill outline a vision, goals, and targets for the next decade of biodiversity conser-vation and beyond. For the effectiveness of Protected areas and Other Effectivearea-based Conservation Measures, an indicator has been proposed for “areasmeeting their documented ecological objectives.” However, the Convention onBiological Diversity (CBD) has not identified or agreed on what data shouldinform this indicator.

Area-based conservation in the twenty-first century

Humanity will soon define a new era for nature—one that seeks to transform decades of underwhelming responses to the global biodiversity crisis. Area-based conservation efforts, which include both protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, are likely to extend and diversify. However, persistent shortfalls in ecological representation and management effectiveness diminish the potential role of area-based conservation in stemming biodiversity loss.

In Pursuit of Knowledge: Addressing Barriers to Effective Conservation Evaluation

Evaluation, the process of assessing the effectiveness of programs and activities, has gained increasing attention in the conservation sector as programs seek to account for investments, measure their impacts, and adapt interventions to improve future outcomes. We conducted a country-wide evaluation of terrestrial-based conservation programs in Samoa. Though rarely applied, the benefit of evaluating multiple projects at once is that it highlights factors which are persistent and influential across the entire conservation sector.

RAPID ASSESSMENT TOOLKIT FOR SHARKS AND RAYS

This Toolkit offers a suite of simple tools for collecting the sound scientific data needed for the conservation and sustainable management of shark and ray populations. The kit has been designed for use in regions with limited capacity and resources, and it contains practical step-by-step guidelines for collecting data by a range of methods. Appropriate tools can be selected depending on the particular data gaps relevant to local waters.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE EFFECTIVE DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT OF MPAs FOR SHARKS AND RAYS

This Guide has been produced to provide practical, science-based advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of both new and existing shark and ray MPAs, to ensure these animals are protected now and far into the future. While it will be of interest to anyone wanting to know more about the subject, it’s particularly aimed at:

● Authorities responsible for marine habitat and species protection

● National fisheries managers

● Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs)

● NGOs and other conservation practitioners

The three screen doors: Can marine “protected” areas be effective?

The great majority of marine protected areas (MPAs) fail to meet their management objectives. So MPAs can be effective conservation tools, we recommend two paradigm shifts, the first related to how they are located and the second related to how they are managed. MPAs are unlikely to be effective if they are located in areas that are subject to numerous, and often uncontrollable, external stressors from atmospheric, terrestrial, and oceanic sources, all of which can degrade the environment and compromise protection.

THE IUCN WORLD COMMISSION ON PROTECTED AREAS OCEANIA Newsletter No. 1 2019

The first edition of the Newsletter of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Oceania (2019). IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is the world's premier network of protected area expertise. It is administered by IUCN's Global Programme on Protected Areas and has over 2,000 members, spanning 140 countries. 

Full Newsletter (Pdf)