Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape Project
The islands and waters along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Ecuador are highly productive areas of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), belonging to one of the world's most diverse biogeographic provinces. The ETP is the second MPA Management Capacity Training Program pilot site. This region has a high degree of, productivity, diversity, and ecological connectivity as well as complex oceanographic characteristics, primarily due to the convergence of major marine currents. This region also experiences cascading impacts from El Nino and La Nina events, compounded by human use impacts. Additionally, Cocos and the Galapagos are World Heritage Sites, while Malpelo and Coiba have been designated for nomination as Natural Sites by UNESCO.
The Eastern Tropical Pacific is being considered as one of the first marine "cluster" Natural Heritage sites. Training curriculum will focus on developing management capacity across all five sites to meet management requirements for nomination as a World Heritage marine "cluster" site. A MPA management capacity building needs assessment survey was completed by ETP MPA managers during an initial meeting in September 2005 in the Galapagos Islands. After presenting the needs assessment analysis to the managers at a meeting in Panama in May 2006, they recommended that 3 two-week trainings over an 18 month period from fall 2006-spring 2008 be conducted in this region.
Training 1: Planning for Sustainable Tourism in MPAs