What is Asian system of Marine Protected Area? 

The importance of marine conservation is becoming higher and higher recently in global scale. To halt and reverse the degradation of marine ecosystems, the decision was adopted by COP10 of the CBD(Conservation of Biological Diversity) ; at least 10% of all the world’s marine and coastal areas should be protected by 2020. Also WSSD (World Summit on Sustainable Development) stated the need to develop MPA networks by 2012. In response, countries are striving to meet the global targets, however most of the countries, especially those in Asian region are facing difficulties in meeting the target partly due to limited human and financial resources.

Asian region is known as the world’s center of marine biodiversity and has various unique types of ecosystems. Also people have more interaction with ocean traditionally and customary than in western countries. Therefore some people insist that there should be Asian types of MPA, totally separately from the conventional western types of MPA . Also some insist there are already many types of community managed protected areas in Asia and there is no need to increase protected areas.

Sometimes it is misunderstood that fishing area itself is a type of protected area. It is better that various types of MPAs exist. However fishery practice is not a type of protected area, although it is possible to do fishery in sustainable manners.

Based on the IUCN category of protected areas, we would like to discuss how MPA should be and what is effective for conserving Asian and the world ocean.So we plan to invite panelists from other groups who know status of MPAs managed by western types and Asian types. This is going to be the first challenge to invite people having different knowledge and opinions.

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