The Role of Partnerships and Size in Scaling Up Marine Protection Efforts Across the Globe

The past two decades have seen both an increase in the area of the world’s ocean under protection and a trend toward the establishment of large-scale and partnership-driven marine protected areas (MPAs). Recent calls from the international marine conservation community recommend a target of protecting at least 10% of all of the world’s marine and coastal ecoregions by 2020. The international community also notes that with only approximately 1% of the world’s oceans currently protected, effective partnerships and large-scale MPAs will both play a critical role to achieve this target.

This workshop will examine both how to build effective marine protection partnerships and manage large-scale MPAs. First, the workshop will consider how competing interests in marine resource management and ocean tenure can be accommodated through partnerships that are designed around core principles including good governance and management effectiveness. This will include showcasing innovations and highlighting examples of partnership structures in the Pacific, Caribbean, and the Coral Triangle that boost resilience and use nature-based solutions to address the negative impacts of climate change. Second, the workshop will examine the unique challenges and specific research needs of large-scale MPAs, and share lessons learned from the Big Ocean network on how to improve the effectiveness of large-scale marine protection for current and new or proposed large-scale MPAs. Big Ocean member sites represent approximately half of all ocean waters currently under protection in the world, and more than 2.3 million km2 of ocean ecosystems.

The workshop will build consensus and understanding around the development of a global call to action to dramatically scale-up global marine protection efforts in support of the 2020 target through the use of strategic partnerships and large-scale MPAs. An interactive approach will be used to stimulate discussion, invite critical thinking, and encourage support of the global call to action.

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