Learning Exchanges


The two focus regions of the Ocean Governance Project – the Atlantic and South-East Asia – were not only considered separately from each other and included individually in the project work. Rather, the project also aimed to build a bridge between the two regions in order to facilitate a lively exchange. Although Marine Protected Areas in the Atlantic and South-East Asia are thousands of kilometres apart, managers and ocean conservationists often face the same challenges and problems. The Ocean Governance Project organised learning exchanges, which are events posing the unique opportunity for MPA practitioners from the Atlantic and South-East Asia to gain new perspectives, share lessons learned and connect directly with each other. In total, the Ocean Governance Project has hosted three Learning Exchanges.

1st Learning Exchanges – 3-5 November 2021

The first event had to be held online due to the Covid pandemic. From 3-5 November 2021, the event was co-hosted with the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI-CFF). Despite the online format, the exchanges were of the highest quality and are available to interested individuals on our YouTube channel. The topics included: Supporting MPA management at regional and national scale, New tools for MPA management: Coastal Resilience, Agreements for Transboundary Cooperation, Exchanges around the protection of marine turtles and their habitats, Restoration of marine and coastal habitats in MPAs, and more. 

Video: Opening and Session 1a: Supporting MPA management at regional and national scale (2021). Credit: Ocean Governance project.

2nd Learning Exchanges – 12-13 October 2022

The second learning exchanges took place on 12 and 13 October in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and was again jointly organised with our partners CTI-CFF. The two-day event had a full programme of 16 sessions, covering topics such as the financial sustainability of MPAs, management effectiveness, protection of marine mammals, marine turtles, restoration of corals and mangroves, as well as coastal resilience. Speakers came from countries including Argentina, Senegal, Spain, Dominican Republic and those around the Coral Triangle: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor Leste. The lively discussions both during and outside the sessions showed that there is a clear need for MPA managers and conservationists worldwide to connect with one another and share knowledge, successes and even failures. The Learning Exchanges ended with a field visit to Manukan Island, part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, a state park located 3km offshore from Kota Kinabalu. Read more here.

Video: Learning Exchanges between the Atlantic and South East Asia (2022). Credit: Ocean Governance project.

3rd Learning Exchanges – 3-6 July 2023

After the success of two previous Learning Exchanges organised by the Ocean Governance project, our partners from the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) in South-East Asia proposed collaborating on a third event. This gathering was tailored for the six Coral Triangle countries (CT6): Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands. Held from 3-6 July 2023, at the Coral Triangle Centre (CTC) in Bali, Indonesia, the event centred around a shared objective: the preservation and restoration of environmentally crucial and economically valuable coral reefs. With over 40 attendees, including government officials, marine protected area managers, scientists, NGOs, and international organisations, the Learning Exchange offered a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing. Read more here.