We have had a challenging 12 months in the Ocean Governance for MPA Managers Project, especially in light of the previously unforeseen restrictions the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on us. However, we are pleased to say that the project has been making good progress using highly adaptive approaches, focusing on virtual meetings and extensive cooperation with local partner and stakeholder networks.
Nevertheless we have been delayed, and in light of the situation we are in discussion with the European Commission on the possibility of extending the project for a further year. This will give us the opportunity to fully develop the restoration plans and activities in South-East Asia. Even though our meetings in 2021 will continue to be online, we hope that the extension will give us the chance to meet in person and further develop our engagement for a more sustainable and comprehensive approach to MPA management.
In the meantime, we are working on three desk studies linked to the Twinning Projects – on MPA management effectiveness, on coastal and marine conservation around the Atlantic, and on important marine mammal areas – and will provide further information about these in subsequent newsletters.
A final change to communicate to you is the introduction of myself, James Walsh, as the new Project Director of the Ocean Governance project, with Puri Canals as Technical Coordinator. We are supported by our fantastic team of technical experts, composed, as you know, of Jean-Jacques Goussard, Francis Staub, Veda Santiadji, Klaas J. Teule and Charles Besançon at its core.
I would like to thank you for your continuous support, and invite you to take a look at the news of our latest activities. The rest of 2021 will be busy and we will be counting on you, so do not hesitate to reach out to our team with any suggestions, questions or comments.