Report examines MPA networking initiatives

A new report explores national and regional efforts to develop representative networks of MPAs, and offers recommendations for strengthening the planning of such networks worldwide. Published by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the UNEP Regional Seas Programme, the report reviews 30 nations’ networking initiatives, including progress made and lessons learned. “The many initiatives underway provide much experience on how MPA networks can be established in practice, and how they can be adapted to different needs and priorities,” writes report author Sue Wells. The 156-page report National and Regional Networks of Marine Protected Areas: A Review of Progress is available at

Report available on lessons from California MPA-planning process

The initiative to create a network of MPAs off the coast of the U.S. state of California has released a report of lessons learned from its work in the state’s North Central Coast region, which began in early 2007. The multi-stage, region-by-region approach to implementing California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) allows for distilling lessons learned along the way and applying them in ensuing phases. The North Central Coast efforts relied on a model derived from work in 2006 to plan MPAs for the state’s Central Coast region (MPA News 8:11). Planning of the South Coast and North Coast is still to come. The 201-page Report on Lessons Learned from the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative: North Central Coast Study Region is available at

Lessons available from project to study fisheries management in protected areas

Advice and lessons derived from a project to develop fisheries management plans for MPAs in the German EEZ of the North Sea and Baltic Sea are now available. The three-year initiative, called the Environmentally Sound Fishery Management in Protected Areas project (EMPAS), analyzed conflicts between nature conservation goals and fishing activities. It was coordinated by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and was meant to serve as a pilot for development of similar plans throughout offshore E.U. waters. A link to the 15-page “EMPAS Summary and Advice” document, an ICES Advice 2008, is available at

Proceedings from MPA economics workshop

The proceedings from a May 2008 workshop in Suva, Fiji, to examine the economics of MPAs in the South Pacific are now available. The goal of the week-long workshop was to share information among stakeholders and discuss how economic tools – such as non-market ecosystem valuation techniques, benefit-cost analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis – could be incorporated into MPA planning and management. Key outcomes included an agreement on common methodologies for conducting economic analyses of MPAs in the region, and the identification of case studies in Pacific island countries where these methodologies could be tested. The workshop was organized by the Coral Reef Initiatives for the Pacific (CRISP), IUCN, and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The report Economics of Marine Managed Areas of the South-Pacific is available at

Draft texts available of resolutions from World Conservation Congress

Draft texts, in English, of the resolutions and recommendations adopted at the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress, held in Barcelona, Spain, in October 2008, are now available at These texts have been edited to include the amendments agreed to during plenary sessions of the Members’ Assembly and to include language and grammar corrections. Further minor amendments of an editorial nature may be made before final formatting, layout, and publication occur. Drafts in Spanish and French will be posted online in January 2009. As listed in our October 2008 issue (MPA News 10:4), several resolutions approved in Barcelona held direct or indirect implications for MPAs.

Ecuador designates three MPAs

The government of Ecuador designated three new MPAs in the months of September and October, totaling more than 1100 km2 of coastal and marine area: Galera San-Francisco Marine Reserve, the coastal Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, and Puntilla de Santa Elena Wildlife Production Reserve. Management plans for the three sites, to determine which areas within the MPAs will be protected from fishing activity, will be developed within 180 days of designation. Planning of the MPAs was under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, with support from various national and international NGOs, including Conservation International. For more information: Antonio Matamoros, Environment Ministry, Quito, Ecuador. E-mail: