Coral and mangrove restorations are moving forward in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines

Coral and mangrove restorations are moving forward in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines

Both corals and mangroves play a very important role in protecting coastal communities as they form natural barriers that make the coastline more resilient to natural forces. They also serve as essential habitats for many different species, being their feeding or breeding ground. Of course, local populations and tourists alike enjoy the sight of corals and mangroves as well, hence why these ecosystems offer opportunities for recreation and the tourism sector. Unfortunately, coral reefs and mangroves face a myriad of local and global threats, including destructive fishing practices, climate change and plastic pollution. One of the components of the Ocean Governance Project is therefore dedicated to funding restoration projects in three countries in the Coral Triangle, where an immense diversity of coral species can be found. 

In 2022, three restoration projects funded by the Ocean Governance project got the ball rolling with grant agreements between the restoration site authorities and our consortium partners WWF. The restoration sites are Tun Mustapha park in Sabah, Malaysia, the Derawan Marine Protected Area in the East Kalimantan Province of Indonesia, and mangrove forests in Balabac, Palawan, Philippines. Restoring coral reefs and mangroves involves raw materials, transportation and hands-on labour – having sufficient funding, therefore, is a critical element of success, and the Ocean Governance Project is very happy to provide these opportunities. Sabah Parks Director Dr Maklarin Lakim is convinced that the allocated funding will bring about significant change: “We are confident that with the half a million ringgit fund, we could have a football field-sized artificial reef.” At all three restoration sites, there is a big emphasis on community involvement. Including the coastal communities, fishermen, local NGOs and other stakeholders in the restoration efforts is necessary and a very powerful driver of change. Shuiab J. Astami, the Mayor of Balabac, says that “mangroves regenerate naturally but human activities like tan barking have degraded this ecosystem; today people plant mangroves for their benefit in the coming years.”

It is great to see that restoration works have begun in all three countries and are steadily moving forward. A big thank you goes out to our consortium partners WWF-Malaysia, WWW-Indonesia and WWF-Philippines for their collaboration and work on the ground.

For more information about the restoration sites go to Restoration in South-East Asia.

Strong presence at IMPAC5: Ocean Governance team prepares to host sessions at the largest International Marine Protected Areas Congress

Strong presence at IMPAC5: Ocean Governance team prepares to host sessions at the largest International Marine Protected Areas Congress

Improving the management of the marine environment through international cooperation and dialogue between MPA managers and stakeholders lie at the core of the EU Ocean Governance project. The Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5), taking place from 3-9 February 2023 in Vancouver, provides a platform for fruitful exchanges between ocean conservation professionals, high-level officials, local communities and indigenous peoples. Driven by the goal to protect 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030, which is also enshrined in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, IMPAC5 will facilitate knowledge transfer and the exchange of best MPA practices across countries and generations.

The EU Ocean Governance team will have a prominent presence at the event and host several sessions (see list below) about its work, more specifically about the importance of MPA manager networks, of support for marine mammals in MPAs, as well as Resilience Management. The sessions on MPA networks are focused on knowledge-sharing around topics such as innovation and transformational change and how to maintain institutional financial coordination. Further, the speakers will talk about how to incorporate the aspect of climate change resilience into MPA management plans, while another session will explore methodologies to monitor progress towards the 30×30 goal and the UN SDGs.

IMPAC is held every four years and organised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the host country, which in 2023 is Canada. Originally scheduled for autumn 2022, the IMPAC5 Secretariat had to postpone the event in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ocean Governance team is all the more excited to dive into the preparations to contribute with their project to an inspiring and impactful congress, and to network with old and new partners.

The congress can be attended in person or virtually – register here and get to know the EU Ocean Governance project in Vancouver!

Our sessions:
  1. IMPAC5-IS-1966 – The Value of Networks of Field Managers in South East Asia and the Atlantic: EU Ocean Governance for MPAs
    04.02.22 – 16:00-17:00h
  2. IMPAC5-IS-1938 – Ecosystem Restorations in South East Asia: EU Ocean Governance for MPAs
    05.02.22 – 11:30-12:30h
  3. IMPAC5-IS-1978 – Innovative Tools for Coastal Resilience and Marine Mammals for Managers: EU Ocean Governance for MPAs 05.02.22 – 16:00-17:00h
  4. IMPAC5-IS-1970 – Transboundary Cooperation in South East Asia: a Path for Peace and Regional Development across the Sea. EU Ocean Governance for MPAs
    06.02.22 – 11:30-12:30h

 

Networks:  

IMPAC5-LCS-1326 – MPA Management Effectiveness: Networks of Marine Protected Areas Managers Making the Difference (a three-part series of knowledge-sharing sessions).
04.02.22 –  16:00-17:30h
IMPAC5-LCS-1839 – Resilient MPA Networks: Networks of MPA Managers Making The Difference (a three-part series of knowledge-sharing sessions).
06.02.22 – 14:00-15:30h
IMPAC5-LCS-1873 – Regional Networks of MPA Managers in the Mediterranean, Latin America, Caribbean and West Africa: how to Learn from Each Other Experience
07.02.22 – 14:00-15:30h
IMPAC5-LCS-1742 – Long-Term Sustainability: Networks of MPA Managers Making the Difference (a three-part series of knowledge-sharing sessions)
07.02.22 – 16:00-17:30h


Marine Mammals:

IMPAC5-LCS-1492  Effectively Managing MPAs: New Toolkits For Resilience And Marine Mammal Management
04.02.22 – 16:00-17:00h