National and Regional Networks of Marine Protected Areas: A Review of Progress

Author: Wells, S., Sheppard, V., van Lavieren, H., Barnard, N., Kershaw, F., Corrigan, C., Teleki, K., Stock, P., Adler,E.
Date Published: January 2008
ISBN: 978-92-807-2975-7

Biodiversity Series 30

In response to the global challenge, for a systematic conservation planning approach to MPA establishment, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity and other international agreements and action plans, there are now many initiatives to develop ecologically representative MPA networks. This report describes the progress being made in 30 national and 35 sub-national ecological MPA network initiatives, using information from the literature, MPA practitioners and planners, and conservation experts. The report explores the diverse range of approaches applied, at various spatial and geographical scales, to demonstrate how MPA networks can be established in practice, and how they can be adapted to different needs and priorities.

This report aims to promote a better understanding of the underlying principals and scientific basis behind MPA network design, while disseminating experiences and lessons learned from the initiatives underway at regional national and sub-national levels. The report concludes with a series of six recommendations for the establishment of effective MPA networks, which build on these experiences to capture the complex range of considerations in this rapidly evolving field.

The report is a joint publication between UNEP-WCMC and the UNEP Regional Seas Programme, and was written by Sue Wells, in collaboration with Victoria Sheppard and Hanneke van Lavieren, with support from Nicola Barnard, Francine Kershaw, Colleen Corrigan, Kristian Teleki, Penny Stock and Ellik Adler. The report was launched at the "International Coral Reef Marine Protected Area Network Meeting / 4th ICRI East Asia Regional Workshop" on 17-19th November 2008 in Tokyo, Japan.