Focus areas: South-East Asia and the Atlantic Basin

This project had two geographical focus areas: South-East Asia and the Atlantic Basin. In South-East Asia, site restoration activities were focused in the Sulu-Sulawesi seascape. In the same region, the project supported transboundary cooperation efforts through targeted workshops bringing together government officials and other stakeholders from the Coral Triangle Region.

South-East Asia contains some of the most extensive coastlines and diverse marine ecosystems in the world, but they are also the most threatened. A growth in the number of MPAs in the region shows a growing awareness to deal with threats such as coastal development, sedimentation and overexploitation that leads to the degradation of the coastal and marine resources. As countries in the region depend on fisheries and shared resources for their sustainable development, regional stability can be fostered through increased cooperation on marine and coastal ecosystems protection and restoration. Although MPAs are recognised as crucial to conserving biodiversity, only some are effectively managed and there is continued scope for restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems.

The second focus area was the Atlantic Basin. The project brought together partners from Atlantic Rim countries to improve the management of marine protected areas in the Atlantic, as well as to share their experience with project partners in South East Asia. Partners included MPA managers, networks of managers, and institutions in Bermuda, Brazil, Cape Verde, France, the French Antilles, Gabon, Iceland, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the United States of America. Over time, interest in the project grew and it was able to attract partners outside Southeast Asia and the Atlantic.

There are more than 14,000 marine and coastal protected areas in the Atlantic Basin. The type of designation and management/governance, as well as the available information vary widely across countries and continents.

Policy Background

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Restoration in South-East Asia

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MPA Twinning Projects

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Images: (top) Sea anemone. Credit: Eva Tillmann. (right, top) Credit: Guillaume Périgois. (right, middle) Coral restoration. Credit: Hamizan Yusof. (right, bottom) Twinning group. Credit: Ocean Governance project.