Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools and methods for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

In 2016, the EBM Tools Network compiled a list of hands-on activities for teaching about ecosystem services and ecosystem-based management (now updated with several more activities!). A university professor recently asked if we have any similar resources for teaching marine protected area (MPA) design and management. EBM Tools Network members pooled their collective knowledge again and came up with this fantastic list of resources for teaching about MPAs at all educational levels.

  • 50-minute teaching unit on MPAs for undergraduates. This unit is part of a two- to three-week module on ocean sustainability created for the InTeGrate project. In this unit, students review current pressures on ocean ecosystems, learn to define MPAs and marine reserves, and examine scientific evidence related to the presence of marine reserves. They also conduct a hands-on exercise to map ideal locations for the creation of a marine reserve, considering oceanographic, biological, and sociological factors in their decision-making process. Access the teaching unit.
  • Teaching module on MPAs for advanced undergraduates and graduate students (available in English and French). This module, hosted on the Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners website, introduces MPAs, including costs and benefits, relationships to biodiversity and fisheries management, design and implementation, and governance and management issues. An accompanying role-playing exercise allows students to experience the challenges of developing an MPA plan that satisfies diverse users while meeting common objectives. A teaching presentation and evaluation tool and solutions are also available for educators. Access the module. (Note: Registration approval could take 1-2 days.)
  • Curricular materials for 6-week course for MPA professionals. This material was developed by WWF South Africa to train MPA staff. Originally developed for presentation in one-week-per-month intervals over the course of six months, the material has also been modified for use in a 5-day introductory course. For more information, contact Robin Adams at radams@wwf.org.za.
  • Curricular material for 10-day course for MPA professionals (available in EnglishSpanish and French). This material was developed by the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme to train MPA managers and other senior personnel associated with MPAs in the region. It is typically presented in one ~10-day session. It consists of eight modules on Caribbean MPA planning, stakeholder participation, management, research, monitoring and regional policy, along with communication and teaching skills.
  • MPA management toolkit for MPA professionals. Developed by the IUCN/NORAD WIO Marine Biodiversity Conservation Project, this toolkit consists of a ring-binder of theme sheets, each of which addresses a key issue faced by an MPA manager, with a focus on the situation in the Western Indian Ocean. The toolkit is designed to address management issues relevant to all types of MPAs, from community-based, locally-managed areas to nationally-gazetted marine parks.

If you are looking for live training for MPA professionals, some programs that we know of (many scheduled on demand) include:

If you are interested in adding a resource to this list or getting the contact information for someone involved with a resource, please contact the EBM Tools Network coordinator at ebmtools@natureserve.org.