A strategy of innovative approaches and recommendations to enhance implementation of marine conservation in the next decade. A promising future

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1 A strategy of innovative approaches and recommendations to enhance implementation of marine conservation in the next decade Submitted for consultation on 21 October 2014 and for revision at the Congress A promising future The marine realm remains among the world's most poorly protected ecosystems, including areas from the shorelines to the high seas. With increasing impacts from human activities to our ocean and the biodiversity it supports, this situation must be reversed rapidly to maintain essential functions and resources. Several complementary new approaches are necessary to maintain the natural marine capital on which human livelihoods, coastal and island security and planetary climate stability depend. These include the prompt designation and effective management of marine protected area networks encompassing at least 30% of coastal and marine environments; the deployment of new regulatory measures, partnerships, governance, capacity building and new technologies to ensure sustainable use of ocean resources outside protected areas; and a new international agreement for the effective governance and management of the high seas. To achieve this we must embrace the ambitious goal of engendering a new global respect and public support for the ocean, reinforced through the application of a human rights-based, inclusive and participatory approach and cuttingedge technology that will provide opportunities for connecting virtually and in person to the wonder and vitality of the world's ocean. The current situation The ocean makes up 71% of our blue planet, yet less than 1% is fully protected. The threats to the ocean underlined at the IUCN World Parks Congress in 2003 have increased in The world s population continues to increase, and the majority of humans live in close proximity to coasts, relying heavily on the ocean for economic, social and cultural purposes. Amongst the biggest threats to the ocean are climate change and ocean acidification; overfishing; coastal development leading to habitat loss; land-based pollution; and marine debris. New threats such as deep-sea mining are looming. The effects of these threats are cumulative and may be synergistic. We are just now realising the extent and severity of pressures, the scale of change affecting the ocean and its ramifications on human livelihoods, coastal and island security and planetary climate stability. Small-scale fishing communities, Indigenous Peoples and local coastal communities are particularly impacted. Moreover, many existing marine protected areas lack sufficient resources and legal authority for effective protection. For example, over 30% of marine sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List experience unsustainable fisheries practices. Our attitudes and practices need to change, and fast. A new paradigm is needed to protect marine ecosystems for future generations, based on a fresh global understanding and respect for the ocean, engaging and inspiring 1

2 the next generation, and a human-rights based approach to governance of marine resources. This new paradigm should foster concrete actions aimed at restoring ocean health and resilience and equitable, sustainable use of marine resources. These actions must be leveraged by visionary political leadership, strong public support (gained in part from evolving technology that connects the public to the underwater world) and partnerships to ensure all levels of government, non-government organisations, industry and community group work together with common goals of sustaining and protecting benefits of and derived from the ocean. Effective networks of marine protected areas, including marine reserves, will connect ecosystems from shorelines to high seas, allowing marine life to recover and thrive. These networks must be implemented within the broader sea/landscape together with strategies to avoid, mitigate, manage and improve actions that are affecting our coasts and oceans to ensure our sustainable, socially and ecologically just future. Recommendations for change 1. Countries work toward revising Aichi Target 11 for the next Strategic Plan ( ) to provide ambitious new targets, and clearly articulated plans, for both spatial coverage and effectiveness, clear guidance and a sense of urgency to spur national and regional efforts to establish functional MPA networks that provide critical ecological, social and economic benefits. 2. Coastal and marine protected area managers design and manage MPAs for local community as well as ecological benefit in the most important locations, through committed partnerships with humanitarian, development and human rights organizations. 3. The post-2015 UN development agenda recognizes Healthy Oceans as a cornerstone of the world s sustainable development, evidenced by a standalone Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for the global ocean, resulting in enhanced public funding. 4. Countries, civil society, industry and the scientific community take steps to protect and manage biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction in the high seas by adopting and bringing into force an international convention agreement and through regional efforts in Antarctica, the Arctic, the Sargasso Sea and elsewhere. 5. The international community collaborates to detect and prevent illegal fishing and other illegal activities at sea, with a focus on MPAs as the front line in this effort, which will apply new technology and surveillance information and support collaborative learning between fisheries and MPA managers. 6. Coastal and marine protected area managers and their partners enhance their capacity for engagement with local communities and the broader public to build support for marine conservation actions particularly with the next generation -- through new technology, social media and learning networks. 7. Coastal and marine protected area managers partner with private sector NGOs and business to accelerate and secure new long-term funding for sustainable ocean management through creative financing and other tools. 8. Coastal and marine protected area managers build new alliances at various scales and take legal and programmatic actions to holistically address drivers, pressures, and impacts to marine biodiversity, including setting targets for reducing land-based pollution, marine debris and ocean noise, and addressing cumulative effects. Solutions Blue Ventures, an international non-governmental organisation, has implemented the internationally acclaimed and innovative Population-Health-Environment approach in Madagascar, which links marine conservation initiatives with family planning services. This combined approach has been highly successful in reducing the the 2

3 fertility rate by over a third since the implementation of the program in 2007, and the creation of synergies that have resulted in more effective and efficient achievement of both health and environmental objectives. This new approach has also fostered community harmony, with men gaining a better understanding of family planning, and women getting involved in fisheries management, whilst the two were traditionally genderspecific and tackled in isolation. Interim Targets: By 2016, the UN General Assembly will agree to launch negotiations on the development of a new Implementing Agreement under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. By 2016, IUCN will establish working definitions of other effective measures of protection to ensure reliable monitoring of progress and recognise the considerable conservation benefits provided by areabased management tools not defined as MPAs. By 2017, an IUCN Green List of Protected Areas will provide guidance for all protected areas, including marine and coastal areas, regarding best governance and management practices. By 2017, 3D virtual reality systems will enable people across the globe to enjoy the beauty and splendour of pristine and recovered marine ecosystems in MPAs through full integration into social media and encourage them to take action to protect our oceans. By 2017, a global program will be developed to identify, promote and support successful partnerships between governments, non-government organisations, industry, media and communities aimed at funding and realizing common goals and targets for ocean protection. These will include partnerships between terrestrial and marine managers to improve integrated management practices, such as water quality and coastal habitat protection. By 2017 countries have identified and initiated actions to achieve the targets set out in the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goal for the ocean. By 2017, the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) will provide an international venue to share successes and lessons learned, assess progress and correct our course in moving toward WPC recommendations, and the Marine Protected Areas Agencies Partnership will launch a virtual community of MPA managers to provide for this exchange on an ongoing basis. By 2025, trends in the condition of key marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrasses, estuaries, islands, shoals and inter-reef areas and high seas habitats and ecological processes will show improvement. By 2025, measurable declines in key threats to MPA resources will be achieved, including IUU fishing (by 50%), marine debris and anthropogenic noise. By 2025, relevant water quality targets will be in place for marine areas threatened by coastal and marine pollution, and monitoring will show a stable or positive trend By 2025, key migratory and dispersal connections between existing and potential coastal and marine protected areas will be mapped at the local, regional and global scales. Priority sites for network connectivity will be protected and incorporated into effectively managed MPA networks. By 2025, an Implementing Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea will be in force, galvanizing biodiversity conservation in the high seas by using MPAs and fishing regulations, impact assessments, and enhancing cooperation and coordination between and amongst existing bodies. By 2025, a wide uptake of the integrated Population-Health-Environment (PHE) approach will help address both poverty and marine conservation issues hand-in-hand, and result in better managed and more resilient marine protected areas and increases in social and economic well-being of coastal communities. By 2025, increased coherence across CBD, the UN Law of the Sea, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other UN human-rights instruments will contribute towards sustainable and equitable use of 3

4 marine resources in the context of poverty eradication and food security. Key partnerships needed Governments Fisheries management organizations Humanitarian organizations Grassroot community environment organizations Seafood supply chain organizations such as supermarkets, restaurants and retailers World Trade Organization Intergovernmental bodies such as IMO, CBD, UNEP, International Seabed Authority, CMS, CITES Science providers Schools Tourism industry Fishing industry Shipping and ports industries Agriculture industry Mining industry Coastal developers and engineers Development agencies and millennium development banks Insurance sector Communications and entertainment sector Civil Society 4

5 Partnerships annex: (not for translation) Join us! We seek partnerships with and solutions from those including Governments: National and sub-national governments will play a critical leadership role in establishing and implementing programs to reach conservation goals. Fisheries management organizations: Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), regional intergovernmental organisations and relevant intergovernmental organisations such as the UN s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) should work together to ensure sound and sustainable fisheries management arrangements are in place in countries EEZ and in high seas. Humanitarian organizations, grassroot community environment organisations: An uptake of the Population-Health-Environment approach should engage humanitarian organisations who could work closely with conservation organisations and the development sector to tackle health, food security and human rights issues hand in hand, maximising resources. Increased interaction with civil society organisations and social movements working to promote the human rights of small-scale fishing communities, Indigenous peoples and local coastal communities. Seafood supply chain (supermarkets, restaurants, retailers): The seafood supply chain can play an important role in conserving ocean resources by raising customers awareness on the origin and nature of seafood. World Trade Organization: The World Trade Organisation is a powerful platform to standardise best practice, particularly in relation to bycatch and fishing gear, and phase out harmful fisheries subsidies. Over the next few decades, the WTO could play an important role in enhancing ocean protection. Technology sector: New technology can be transformative. Partnerships between governments, conservation organisations and the research and technology sector are already revolutionising approaches to surveillance, monitoring, and information reporting (e.g. vessel tracking). Technology can also broadly engage the public in appreciating and protecting marine resources. These efforts should be sufficiently resourced and coordinated to enable broad-scale positive changes Intergovernmental bodies (e.g. IMO, CBD, UNEP, International Seabed Authority, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Intergovernmental bodies can enable the scale-up of best practices through international conventions. In particular, the CBD can provide information on ecologically or biologically significant areas in need of protection. The International Maritime Organisation can foster positive changes to address critical issues such as underwater noise, pest control through ballast waters, or vessel design and operational requirements, and shipping and other practices to reduce marine pollution and other impacts globally. The ISA can shape best practices for seabed mining globally. The CBD and FAO can seek to promote coherence across international organisations working with small-scale fisheries in the context of poverty eradication and food security. CITES listings can regulate international trade of marine species across the supply chain. For migratory marine species, CMS listings can facilitate closer collaboration among countries to tackle issues such as unsustainable catch and trade across often wide ranges. Science providers: Science underpins adaptive management around the world and is critical to make informed management decisions. Continued worldwide investment in relevant marine research, coupled with effective partnerships between scientists and managers, is critical to achieve the Promise. There is a clear need to advance the science of quantifying and modelling ecosystem service values, flows and 5

6 trade-offs. This includes more field based science on values and improved integration of existing knowledge. Schools: Future generations will inherit an ocean that is dramatically changed from what our grandparents inherited. Many young people are already taking on leadership roles in conservation, and we can help foster greater interest and care for the ocean through school programs ultimately resulting in enhanced protection and development of future leaders and marine stewards. Marine conservation players can work with schools to ensure curricula include marine issues. Industry (tourism, fishing, shipping, ports, agriculture, mining): Some industries such as tourism and fishing rely on healthy marine ecosystems to be viable. They can also play an important role in promoting understanding and appreciation of these ecosystems. These industries, together with other industries such as shipping, agriculture and mining, can implement sustainable practices and demonstrate stewardship to achieve common conservation goals. Coastal developers and engineers: Natural infrastructure and ecosystem services can reduce the costs of coastal defences. We need to quantify these benefits and build these functions into coastal planning, including innovative hybrid engineering designs. Development agencies and MDBs: The multiple benefits of ecosystems need to be accounted for in development project design and implementation to ensure that those benefits are enhanced and captured. There is opportunity to increase the share of development investment in the maintenance of ecosystem services benefiting development with co-benefits for conservation. Insurance sector: Insurance companies have an important role to play in incentivising behaviour change. Integrating ecosystem services and climate scenarios into risk assessment is a powerful incentive in support of maintaining natural infrastructure. Fisheries communities: Local fishing communities need secure access rights to marine resources and more detailed knowledge of the value of their resources, to enable them to sustainably manage their marine resources. Communications and entertainment sector: The communications and entertainment industries can play a significant role in raising public awareness and connection with marine ecosystems. Civil society: Civil society plays an important role from global to local levels, including in policy advocacy, building capacity in integrated ocean management and marine protected areas designation and management, including developing and testing best practice, promoting ocean stewardship and fostering leadership at local and global levels. Additional Marine solutions for IPAS/solutions link: In Fiji, dwindling fish catches and scarcity in traditionally abundant resources such as the kaikoso (an edible clam) in the mid-1990s led a community on the eastern coast of Fiji s largest island, Viti Levu, to collaborate with scientists, government and non-government partners to reinvigorate the traditional practice of tabu (sites temporarily closed to fishing). The results were outstanding, with clam populations recovering rapidly, and biodiversity increasing considerably over the next couple of decades. In view of this success, this initiative was replicated in over 400 villages across Fiji, coordinated through the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area network. These villages implement traditional management of their local marine areas through partnerships now 6

7 covering the majority of Fiji s coral reef areas. They are also part of a larger Locally Managed Marine Area Network in the Pacific. The CATLIN Seaview Survey is using cutting-edge technology to create a baseline record of the world s coral reefs, in high resolution 360-degree panoramic vision. In partnership with Google, the CATLIN team has launched Google underwater streetview which will eventually allow the public to explore the surveyed sites in 3D, enabling everyone to experience and understand the issues reefs are facing worldwide. 7

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