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Management tools encompass all measures implemented inside a protected area to ensure conservation objectives are well defined and then effectively met.
The overall theme for today's presentations is introduced by Olivier Laroussinie, Director of the French MPA Agency, and Dan Laffoley, Vice-Chair of IUCN WCPA-marine.
What are management tools?
Olivier Laroussinie: A good MPA management toolbox contains everything to get organized and be effective. It outlines processes to monitor species, habitats and human activities. It addresses issues of knowledge, regulation, restoration, surveillance and enforcement. It all adds up to a coherent overall strategy: a management plan.
Why are management plans important?
Dan Laffoley: We've got our eyes set on a figure: the target of protecting 10 percent of the ocean by 2020. But we often forget that there's a commitment to quality, too: MPAs must be effectively and equitably managed. To make sure quality is up to par, we need assessment tools that are adequate not only on the scale of separate MPA, but also of MPA networks.
How can stakeholders contribute to management plans?
Olivier Laroussinie: A few years back, conservation measures were usually imposed from above. Today, we want stakeholders and users to chime into the process – which they have learned to do masterfully. This enables us to incorporate users' knowledge into the process, and ultimately to gain better acceptance. But at the end of the day, authorities still make the final call and set constraints.
How do management plans differ from one another?
Dan Laffoley: Different parts of the world have different methods, reflecting different cultures. Europe has a more legalistic tradition, while MPAs in the Pacific tend to revolve around communities and villages. But challenges are the same: engaging people, setting objectives, assessing results.
Olivier Laroussinie: Players are different, too, depending on whether MPAs covers a small coastal zone or a vast expanse of open sea. But concepts remain the same.
What do you hope for at the end of the day?
Olivier Laroussinie: One, that confronting the ways tools are applied will help refine them. Second, that bringing people together will give rise to innovative partnerships and projects.
Dan Laffoley: The question we must answer is: Where do we go from here? We've got lots of great tools, but how to we apply them? We need to set a roadmap now, because time is not on our side.