To achieve post 2020 MPA targets, beyond the creation of new marine protected areas (MPA) and more strong protection that is absolutely needed in the future, it will be also crucial to ensure effective management of marine protected areas at local level (meaning adequate human and material capacity as well as skills) and to ensure adequate and sustainable financing of marine protected areas. Networks of MPA managers are considered as a cornerstone to achieve management effectiveness and have the potential to accelerate the implementation of MPA strategic targets with direct impact on ocean conservation at every scale.
Networks take advantage of existing initiatives and partnerships and help to connect with people acting on the ground while providing them with a global framework and the “big picture” of marine conservation. Networks of MPA managers are platforms addressing common management and conservation challenges. By gathering stakeholders for an effective management of marine biodiversity and creating linkages with actions on the ground, they facilitate relevant decision-making processes, at local, national, regional and international levels. Networks of MPA managers exist at national and regional levels; they also interact from national to regional levels and they join forces between different regions, at global level. The side event showcased cooperation among Transatlantic national and regional networks of MPA managers, their achievements by working together and the support they can provide to the implementation of national MPA policies and objectives, regional seas conventions strategies, and the CBD action plan.
You can find all the presentations done in the side event in the following links:
Last December 2021, the Ocean Governance Project had an intensive agenda in the Mediterranean MPA Forum, hosted in Monaco. Our experts Francis Staub (leader of the Marine Mammals Twinning Project) and Jean-Jacques Goussard (leader of the Coastal Resilience Twinning Project) presented in the framework of the Mediterranean Marine Protected Area 2020 Forum and a side event organised after its finalisation the Self-Assessment Tools created in each twinning project.
The Post-2020 Roadmap and Forum provided an excellent opportunity for the Ocean Governance Project and its twinning projects, thanks to the high concentration of MPA managers, policymakers and stakeholders from the Mediterranean area.
On November 30th, Jean-Jacques actively participated in the DS26 session: Community-based approaches to MPA governance for natural resource management, on which the Director of Community Marine Protected Areas of Senegal (Mr Mamadou Sidibé) was a speaker. His presentation was complemented by Jean-Jacques’s intervention on the ongoing experiences of the Resilience Assessment Programme (started in early 2021).
Francis, on his side, participated in several networking opportunities, such as the “NS03: A showcase of initiatives for monk seal conservation“, as well as the side event organised by the Pelagos Sanctuary on the evening of December 2nd.
Dedicated training courses
Following the conclusion of the Forum, the Marine Mammal Twinning, alongside the Resilience Twinning, and MPA Networks Twinning, hosted a 3-hour workshop for MPA managers titled “Training on Two Innovative Toolkits for MPA Managers to Assess MPA Marine Mammals Management and MPA Resilience-based Management“.
Around 20 MPA manangers enjoyed the training course organised back-to-back to the Forum. There was a “unanimous response” of the value of the tools presented and how the managers will use them to create the management programmes of the areas that attended the training course.
Some of the managers attending the course.
Francis Staub, coordinator of the Marine Mammals Twinning Project.
Jean Jacques Goussard, coordinator of the Coastal Resilience Twinning Project.
Jean Jacques Goussard, coordinator of the Coastal Resilience Twinning Project.
Participants in the Marine Mammals and Coastal Resiliance Trainings
Francis Staub, coordinator of the Marine Mammals Twinning
The Marine Mammal Twinning has submitted the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit as a voluntary commitment for the implementation of SDG14 – Life Below Water – within the 2030 Agenda of The UN Ocean Conference. The voluntary commitment recognises the importance of marine mammals, their continued and surmounting threats and the need to take actions for their conservation. Detailing the three core components of the toolkit (Factsheets, Good Practices, and Self-Assessment Tool), four key deliverables are committed by the end of 2023, including supporting MPA Managers to generate a global network of MPA managers effectively considering and protecting marine mammals.
You can check all the information at the Marine Mammals info site, by clicking here
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!
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.
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”.
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.
“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