Due to an editorial error in our February 2007 issue, the feature “Informing stakeholders during a public planning process” misidentified the work affiliation of Tim Allen. He works for the Australian Government in its Natural Resource Management Division.

Report proposes MPA network for Colombia’s Caribbean waters

A new report proposes that Colombia designate a network of MPAs around priority areas in its Caribbean waters and include this network in the country’s system of National Natural Parks. Available in Spanish, the publication uses the planning software MARXAN to identify the priority areas for conservation, based on ecological criteria. The report is published by INVEMAR (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras) – a research organization that provides guidance to the Colombian Ministry of the Environment on coastal and marine issues – in association with the National Natural Parks authority, national environmental authorities, and two international NGOs (The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Defense). The 12-pageUna Red de Areas Marinas Protegidas para del Norte del Caribe Continental Colombiano is available in PDF format at

Report proposes priority areas for marine conservation in Fiji

A new report from WWF South Pacific identifies 35 priority conservation areas in the Fiji Islands Marine Ecoregion as identified by a team of scientists, community stakeholders, and representatives of NGOs and government agencies. The priority areas attempt to capture the ecoregion’s full range of marine biodiversity and habitats, including more than one-third of the world’s coral species and the third-longest barrier reef system in the world, the Great Sea Reef. “If conserved, [these priority areas] will contribute to the maintenance of integrity of Fiji’s marine systems,” states the report. The 79-page Setting Priorities for Marine Conservation in the Fiji Islands Marine Ecoregion also describes threats to the ecoregion’s biodiversity, and is available in PDF format at

Newsletter features article on ocean zoning

The February 2007 edition of the W2O Observer newsletter features an article on ocean zoning, including zoning efforts by several MPAs worldwide. The article “Ocean Zoning Is Coming! Ocean Zoning Is Coming! Music to Some Ears, a Fearsome Sound to Others”, authored by Tundi Agardy, is available online at The W2O Observer is a publication of the World Ocean Observatory, an institution that serves as a clearinghouse for ocean-related information on the Web.

Course available on Caribbean MPAs

Students and practitioners interested in MPAs in the Caribbean region are invited to enroll in an international course to be held at the Academic Unit of Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, from 1-8 July 2007. The course “Marine Protected Areas for the South Florida, Mexican Caribbean, and Mesoamerican Region” will analyze ecological and socioeconomic aspects of MPA design and management, and will be co-led by researchers from the National University of Mexico and Florida International University. The same institutions will offer a course on tropical marine botany during the preceding week (23-30 June 2007). Fellowships for the MPA course are available for Latin American students. For more information, e-mail Ligia Collado Vides at

Grants available to develop software tools for marine EBM

A new fund is offering grants to develop and distribute creative software tools for marine ecosystem-based management (EBM). The Marine Ecosystem-based Management Tool Innovation Fund is now seeking letters of intent, due 30 March 2007. Based at Duke University in the US, the initiative will provide a total of US$1,000,000 in small grants to a broad range of organizations and developers. For more information or to apply, visit the program website at