Saturday, 16 November 2013

Large-scale partnership launched at IMPAC 3 seeks to provide “best practices” for managers of vast marine managed areas

The IUCN WCPA Very Large MPA Task Force (VLMPATF) and lead partner, Big Ocean, launched their partnership at IMPAC 3 by positioning marine management at-scale as one of the most significant topics to be addressed in the next decade. By focusing attention on the partnership’s inaugural initiative­­, the development and publication of Guidelines on the Design and Management of Large-Scale MPAs, the hope to provide a mechanism to amplify the experience of veteran marine management teams to enhance conservation efforts globally.

Through both a standard workshop within the IMPAC 3 program, as well as an independent, full-day session, marine conservation professionals were engaged to provide a substantive review of the consultative draft of the Guidelines. Production of the new publication is being spearheaded by Big Ocean, while the Task Force is providing both technical support and a means to more directly interface with IUCN and WCPA, which are producing the Guidelines as a part of the Protected Plant Series.

For the long term, the goal is to strengthen the partnership between the VLMPATF and Big Ocean and to leverage the expertise found within both entities to develop additional products and services to improve marine management at scale globally–especially for managers working on-the-ground.

Additional products and activities will likely include: publications, including best-practice guidance in the Protected Planet series; consolidation and coordination of the global community of practice; targeted outreach and the identification of new and relevant audiences (through conference presentations, workshops, websites, and social media); testing and real-time application of new technologies (e.g., Google tools); provisioning of information on activities to IUCN WCPA-Marine, as appropriate, on a regular basis; assistance with and/or pursuance of WCPA, IUCN and Big Ocean goals where appropriate; and supporting relevant International Conference planning and participation (e.g., World Parks Congress 2014).

In the first year or organizational development, objectives of the VLMPATF will include:

1. Grow memberships and build organizational capacity;

2. Support lead partner, Big Ocean, to produce the Guidelines for the Design and Management of Large-Scale MPAs;

3. Participate in the development of a set of standard research methodologies for large-scale MPAs to enhance data collection and streamline analysis and application;

4. Enable a greater understanding of the role large-scale MPAs play in reaching global targets and agreements; and

5. Provide consultation to national and regional agencies and organizations regarding ocean governance and marine environmental policies in order to enhance large-scale MPA management globally.

You can access a recently published article produced by Big Ocean member site scientists and research partners.

by Nai’a Ulumaimalu Lewis, Big Ocean Coordinator
Photos John Parks, Marine Management Solutions

Caption for group photo: Participants at the workshop on the Consultative Draft of the Guidelines for the Design and Management of Large-Scale MPAs.