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Governing Marine Protected Areas:
Getting the Balance Right

small boats in croatia
Small boats in Mali Lošinj (Photo: Elizabeth Moore, NOAA)
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) was invited to participate in a recent international workshop called "Governing Marine Protected Areas: Getting the Balance Right." Elizabeth Moore, ONMS chief of staff for international activities, represented ONMS at the meeting and presented a case study on governance approaches and lessons from the National Marine Sanctuary System. The workshop involved 25 leading experts from five continents and 17 countries around the world who are engaged in marine protected area (MPA) governance at a practitioner and/or research level. The National Marine Sanctuary System case study was the only one from NOAA, and one of only two case studies from the United States (the other featured MPAs being created under California's Marine Life Protection Act).

Night in the harbor at Veli Lošinj (Photo: Elizabeth De Santo, Dalhousie University)

The workshop was sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, Blue World Institute, and University College London, and was held Oct. 12-16, 2009, in Mali Lošinj, Croatia.  It featured the presentation and group review of 17 case studies from a wide range of countries - including Australia, Tanzania, Mexico, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, China, Croatia, United Kingdom, Ecuador, and Spain - on different approaches to governing MPAs.

The workshop looked at what combinations of approaches represented good practice for successfully governing MPAs, drawing on economic, interpretative, knowledge, legal and participative approaches, and how such good practice could be transferred to different MPAs around the world. Discussion from the workshop and synthesis of the case study write-ups will be used to produce a good practice manual on the use of different combinations of incentives to successfully govern MPAs for the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Participants in the "Governing Marine Protected Areas: Getting the Balance Right" Workshop (Photo: Blue World Institute, Croatia)

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