Convention on Biological Diversity adopts criteria, guidance for high seas MPAs

In May in Bonn, Germany, the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took steps to advance the protection of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. Among its actions, COP9 adopted criteria for identifying ecologically significant areas in need of protection in the open ocean and deep sea. The conference urged Parties and invited other governments and relevant organizations to submit their views on these criteria, as well as sites that they think meet the criteria. COP9 also adopted guidance for designing representative networks of MPAs in open-ocean and deep-sea ecosystems. This information will feed into an expert workshop that COP9 agreed to convene to provide scientific guidance for identifying important areas beyond national jurisdiction. This workshop will be hosted by the government of Canada with financial assistance from Germany. For more information: Kristina Gjerde, Chair, High Seas MPA Task Force, World Commission on Protected Areas; E-mail:

Report available from seminar on managing high seas biodiversity

The report of a March 2008 seminar in Monaco on the management of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction is available Organized by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), the seminar Towards a New Governance of High Seas Biodiversity convened experts from international organizations, national governments, NGOs and research centers. Nearly 70% of the world’s marine area is on the high seas.

Feedback invited on proposal for MPA governance manual

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas – Marine has begun work to produce a manual on MPA governance, and is inviting feedback on the project outline. The proposed guide is premised on the view that successful MPA governance involves addressing basic conflicts between conserving biodiversity and exploiting marine resources. Namely, the manual Governing MPAs: a guide to getting the balance right will use case studies to examine how to provide for meaningful stakeholder participation in MPA decision-making while also fulfilling conservation objectives. Full details of the consultation can be found at

For more information: Peter Jones, University College London, UK. E-mail:

Detailed case studies available on social dimensions of MPAs

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has added full case studies to its website on social dimensions of MPAs – The case studies offer detailed perspectives on MPAs from local and traditional fishing communities in Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand. The website was first mentioned in the March 2008 edition of MPA News.

US advisory committee delivers guidance on MPA compliance, enforcement

The US Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPA FAC) has released a set of management principles for enhancing compliance and enforcement in MPAs. The document, Committee Recommendations on MPA Compliance and Enforcement, is available at The committee’s other products, including a recent compilation of its recommendations from 2006-2007, are available on the same website.

Toolkit: how to lease or own coastal and ocean resources for conservation

A new online toolkit describes how land and resources in ocean and coastal waters can be leased or bought for conservation purposes. Produced by The Nature Conservancy and partners, the toolkit describes the policy bases and rationale for such conservation efforts. It walks practitioners through the processes of acquiring marine-related resources and implementing private management. The toolkit provides 24 case studies, 8 country assessments, and 24 US state assessments, as well as other resources. “Many of these leased and owned areas are functionally private MPAs, like Chumbe Island Coral Park in Tanzania,” says Jay Udelhoven of The Nature Conservancy. Leasing and Ownership within Ocean and Coastal Waters – A Conservation Practitioner’s Toolkit is available at

More versions available of Science of Marine Reserves booklet

The 2007 edition of the booklet Science of Marine Reserves, described in the December 2007/January 2008 edition of MPA News, is now available in several versions: a US version, an international version, and a version that targets a Latin American and Caribbean audience. All versions of the booklet can be accessed at