Getting ready for IMPAC5: Sessions on ‘Networks of MPA Managers making the difference’

Getting ready for IMPAC5: Sessions on ‘Networks of MPA Managers making the difference’

The Networks Twinning of the Ocean Governance project is laying the groundwork for establishing a prominent presence at the upcoming IMPAC5 Congress. In all, the Twinning partners have submitted 3 proposals together for the organisation of Knowledge Sharing sessions. Another great example of the positive collaboration that has been established between us.

The 3 proposals presented were the following: “Long-Term Sustainability: Networks of MPA Managers Making the Difference”; “Resilient MPA Networks: Networks of MPA Managers Making the Difference”; and “MPA Management Effectiveness: Networks of Marine Protected Areas Managers Making the Difference”. On these proposals, Ms. Puri Canals, coordinator of the twinning and of the Ocean Governance Project itself, noted: “we really pushed to show the diversity of institutions and geographic origins that composes our twinning”.

The sessions proposed by the twinning project primarily aim to explore innovation and transformational change. Specifically, the session on ‘Long-term Sustainability’ will focus closely on sharing experiences of maintaining institutional financial coordination among and within the networks, as well as the need to consider long-term financing plans. The session aims at providing an opportunity to disseminate resources which would support planning for sustainability.

The second session, ‘Resilient MPA Networks’, will focus on the need to incorporate elements of resilience into the planning of MPA networks. We talk here about climate change, restoring damaged and degraded ecosystems, and implementing management strategies to build more resilient ecosystems. Participants will learn about successful solutions, and share information on the materials and resources used.

The final session, ’MPA Management Effectiveness’ will look at the targets established in CBD (such as 30×30) and the UN SDGs. We will explore how having an MPA is not sufficient to ensure an improvement in the protection of habitats and species living in these sites: these areas need effective management, budget, and enough resources to ensure success. In this session we will also work on the monitoring of progress, and the assessment methodologies shared among the MPA networks.

IMPAC5 will take place on 2-8 September 2021, and the agenda (and, by extension, whether our proposals have been selected) will be tentatively known during Spring 2022. This event will also represent an opportunity for many of us to finally meet in person after 2 years, and to join other parallel meetings where we will discuss further possible exchanges.

We hope we can all meet there for these 3 sessions and many more!

Atlantic and South East Asia Region marine and coastal regions exchange about their best practices

Atlantic and South East Asia Region marine and coastal regions exchange about their best practices

The Ocean Governance project has, among its objectives, the aim to “strengthen knowledge exchange between Atlantic and South East Asian marine and Coastal Regions”. The first step towards this direction was taken the first week of November 2021, when we celebrated the first Virtual Learning Exchange (VLE) between the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI-CFF) and the EU Ocean Governance project.

The exchanges, which took place from 3-5 November 2021, pivoted through two level of exchanges: Sessions around technical MPA management topics; and sessions about strategic regional topics for consideration. Held in English, Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish and French, it allowed a wide participation with more than 160 participants registered.


First VLE CTI-CFF and Ocean Governance

Networks of Managers and International Cooperation were topics very present in the agenda. Concretely, there were two sessions dedicated to “supporting MPA Management at Regional and National Scale. Institutional Supporting Cooperation between countries” who gathered the experiences from North America, South America and Mediterranean regions. The Atlantic networks twinning project partners presented their governance models, databases, capacity building and training programmes, as well as their linkages with other regional structures. On the other side, from the CTI area, we learnt about the new MPA network in Arafura Timor Sea.

The presentations also addressed the challenges and strategies to mobilize funds for MPA management and MPA networking by sharing the Atlantic networks’ experience and strategies for fundraising and resource mobilization.

Other topics

The Virtual Learning Exchange also tackled technical topics, such as the presentation of the tools for Coastal Resilience and Marine Mammals; exchanges around the protection of marine turtles and their habitats and restoration of marine and coastal habitats in MPAs.

Collaboration with CTI-CFF

This event was the first joint initiative between CTI-CFF and the Ocean Governance Project. Initially the CTI-CFF Marine Protected areas Working Group (MPA-WG) planned its 9th MPA regional exchange and working group in Papua New Guinea. Cancelled because of the covid-19 pandemic, the CTI-CFF members accepted the proposal of the EU Ocean Governance project (presented by WWF) to organize this first virtual learning exchange that could contributed to maintain the regional exchanges around MPAs, and at the same time, to learn about the experiences in the Atlantic area.

This first exchange gathered 34 different speakers from the whole Atlantic, the Coral Triangle and the Pacific. As previously mentioned we had 160 registered participants and an average attendance of 75 participants per session (8 in total). They came from 28 different countries. The most valuable experiences of the VLE were “the opportunity of learning about the Coral Triangle Area experiences” and “the opportunity of learning about the translational experiences”.

All the sessions can be watch again in the project’s YouTube Channel

Conservation Trust Funds and MPA Managers join forces in the Global Alliance for Marine Protection

Conservation Trust Funds and MPA Managers join forces in the Global Alliance for Marine Protection

The latest IUCN Congress, held in Marseille (France) from 3 – 11 September 2021, was the forum selected to announce the launch of the Global Alliance for Marine Protection, which brings together the Conservation Trust Funds, networks of Conservation Trust Funds, and networks of MPA Managers at national and regional levels.

This Global Alliance is designed to boost and support the effective management and strategies of sustainable financing for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Presented in the framework of the latest IUCN Congress, it highlighted one of the key elements which is being discussed by both parties, Trust Funds and networks of managers: the need to reach a sustainable financing model for the MPAs.

What differentiates this alliance is that it sees Conservation Trust Funds and international networks of MPA Managers join forces with a clear objective for the first time, which is to create a global community that supports efficient management and sustainable financing, so that the post-2020 objectives are fully implemented in marine areas.

This initiative is promoted by MedPAN, REDLAC, Costa Rica Por Siempre, The Med Fund, and of course our project, Ocean Governance. They are not the only institutions collaborating on this important project, which also counts RAMPAO, MARFund, CaMPAM, NAMPAN and Café among its participants.

Romain Renaux, Executive Director MedFun

“The Ocean Governance project asked us to go further in the financing issue. The EC, FPI is very interested in consolidating a sustainable financing at all scales”, Puri Canals, EU Ocean Governance’s Technical Coordinator and president of MedPAN, highlighted.

Romain Renaux, director of MedFUND, underlined how MedFUND and MedPAN are in the process of creating the first alliance at such a level, with both practitioners and funding institutions seated in the same room. “This is an example of an alliance which can be replicated in other regions or conventions”. They will work in financing, capacity building, cooperation, and sharing experiences of this kind of alliance in other regional seas. “It is the beginning of a love story between us”, Mr. Renaux closed. Moreover, “these alliances recognize us as good actors”, Ms. Canals added, following the successful grant obtained from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat to MedPAN and MedFUND.

María José González, Executive Director of MARFund, remembered that to achieve the 30×30 objectives, “we need not only new protected areas, but that the existing ones are actually operating at an optimal level”.

Constance Corbier-Barthaux from the FFEM also drew attention to the added value of working with the networks of practitioners, since there are “actual people behind them”.

The presentation of the Global Alliance took place at the Rowing Club of Marseille and at the IUCN Congress itself. Throughout 2022 there will be more activities linked to it, as well as thanks to the OG Project.

Claude Gascon, Manager of Programs, GEF Secretariat

Puri Canals, Technical coordinator of the OG Programme and President of MedPAN

Welcome to the new MPA Networks Twinning Partners: Going beyond the Atlantic

The MPA Networks Twinning is one of the projects who has grew the most within the EU Ocean Governance Project. The Twinning welcomes since 2020 and 2021 a total of 14 new partners who join the initial six of 2017.

The initial regional partners were CaMPAN (UNEP/CEP & SPAW-RAC), MedPAN, NAMPAN, and RAMPAO. In this new phase of the Ocean Governance project, we welcome as well OSPAR, HELCOM, RedParques, Patagonian Forum and Red Golfo.

As for the national partners, the first two agencies we welcomed in the Transatlantic Partnership of MPAs were the French Biodiversity Agency and the Spanish Fundación Biodiversidad. Now we are happy to count as well on NOAA (USA), CONANP (Mexico), National Natural Parks of Colombia, Dominican Republic, Department of Rocha (Uruguay), Océanos Sanos (Uruguay), National Parks of Senegal, Community MPAs Senegal and Parks Gabon. In upcoming weeks, we will learn more in detail about the new partners.

Exchanges of experiences

The MPA Networks Twinning has among its objectives sharing information, knowledge, and tools; and also building network capacities. Among the examples of topics tackled in its activities we could highlight the exchanges done in marine turtles, financing instruments, climate change, ocean and health, and of course, management effectiveness. On another line, the Twinning project works as well in policy support, advocacy, and financing. The project has contributed to the CBD Post 2020 process, other EU and International frameworks, it has established links with other important related initiatives (such as IMPANA, MPAAP, regional trust funds, trust fund networks), it is closely working with Regional Seas Conventions, and it is developing new fundraising strategies, showcased at the Global Alliance for Marine Protection.

This comes together with the inter-regional activities, such as the exchanges with South East Africa, and the participation in the other twinning projects activities. More activities to come in 2022!