As MPA news recalled recently*, “the value of MPA manager networks is substantial. Whether at the national, regional, or global scale, such networks can foster the transfer of knowledge in ways, and at a depth, that other methods – reports, trainings, conferences – cannot match. Effective MPA manager networks are a continuous and ever-growing source of guidance.

Today, regional MPA manager networks are getting in the limelight even on institutional levels, to support and accelerate MPA policy implementation,  and their central role in consolidating national efforts to protect marine biodiversity  is increasingly being considered.

It was the case at the 22nd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity which took place last week in Montréal, Canada. This scientific advisory body of government representatives, provides the Conventions’s Conference of the Parties (COP) and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies, with timely advice relating to the implementation of the Convention. The recommendations it produces are key to the resolutions that will adopted by the COP at the end of the year in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt. Thanks to its status of CBD observer, MedPAN participated in the meeting, represented by its Chairwoman Purificacio Canals. She took the floor to recall the importance of MPA manager networks and the role they have in contributing to the achievement of the qualitative aspect of Aichi target 11, MPA management effectiveness.

She recorded this video at the expert meeting of the CBD held in February 2018, highlighting how MPA networks can contribute to enhance the capacity of MPA managers, an enabling condition to ensure the success of area-based conservation measures:

#T11ExpertInterviews – Puri Canals

Continuing the #T11ExpertInterviews series, next up is Puri Canals, the President of the Network of Marine Protected Areas Managers in the Mediterranean (medPAN). She believes that increasing the capacity of managers and promoting efficient networking between them is essential to achieving Target 11. Watch:

Publiée par Convention on Biological Diversity sur Vendredi 8 juin 2018

The SBSTTA’s meeting also had the objective of laying the groundwork for post-2020 global biodiversity framework negotiations and as Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary, recalled: “These two meetings are essential stepping stones on our journey to reaching the Convention’s 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature, whereby biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.” The press release published just before the meeting highlights the main points that were discussed and the post conference reports and press release summarises the recommendations and outcomes. One of the subjects being discussed was the definition and identification of Other Area Based Conservation Measures (OECM) and how they integrate into wider land and seascapes, governance and equity.

The United Nations Environment Programme and the European Commission also have come to recognise the value of MPA manager networks. They recently adopted the 2018 Roadmap on Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans. Objective 3 of this roadmap “Support healthy marine and coastal ecosystems” specifically highlights the role of human MPA networking and more specifically the results of the Trans-Atlantic MPA network project funded by the EU that UNEP and the EU consider to be a milestone.

Video of the Trans-Atlantic MPA network project:

This growing understanding and recognition of the role of MPA manager regional networks is indeed a very good piece of news as it may channel more funding towards these networks to support MPA management and marine biodiversity conservation.


* Challenges, successes and lessons building effective MPA managers networks