Perspective | The MPAs of Central America (last of three articles): Lessons learned from the past 20 years

By Carlos A. Espinosa, Néstor J. Windevoxhel, and Juan C. Villagran

Protected areas in Central America showcase the region’s magnificent landscape and tropical biodiversity – terrestrial and marine. They help maintain a sustainable supply of water, food, and other natural resources essential for all life in the region. And they provide Central America’s inhabitants a way to protect their own economy, welfare, and future.

IUCN moves to help countries apply marine protection: By clarifying its standards, global body hopes to inspire more ocean safeguards

By Angelo O’Connor Villagomez, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project senior officer

As more countries designate MPAs in their territories, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which for over 70 years has been the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to conserve it, has recently provided clarity to help countries more accurately report their MPAs to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).

Perspective | New management concepts at one of the world’s oldest MPAs: Building financial sustainability for the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, The Bahamas

By Captain Joseph Ierna Jr.

It is time to challenge private and public sectors to direct funding resources to operate our protected areas. I am encouraged here at the ECLSP: we are on the forefront of setting standards in operating financially sustainable national parks, including eventually across The Bahamas’ national system of 32 sites. This is the future for protected areas.

MPA Training in a Nutshell: On building relationships with stakeholders

By Anne Nelson and the IMPACT team

Relationships built on trust between MPA management and stakeholders can strengthen community support for MPAs. By fostering such support, these relationships can help MPAs meet their management goals. 

Ideally the relationships extend broadly through local communities, resource users, and MPA managers and related agencies. Building relationships early and consistently across these groups can be a relatively simple, productive, and positive experience. Here are useful strategies we’ve observed from managers: