GCFI and Ecosystem-Based Management

Based on the ecological significance of their coral reefs, their level of commitment to international agreements, evidence of investment in marine protected areas, and linkages to U.S. coral reef ecosystems, 10 countries were selected by the CaMPAM Executive Team to participate in the assessment: The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dutch Caribbean (Saba & St. Eustatius specifically), Honduras, Grenada, Mexico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands.GCFI recognizes that sustainable management of marine resources in the region requires that all features of the ecosystem are included when considering management options.  This must include both the natural resources and the human dimension.  GCFI is partnering with organizations in the region to ensure that their Marine Protected Area staff has sufficient internal capacity to address their most pressing local issues as well as the issues that cross political boundaries.   The following two initiatives represent GCFI’s partnerships to develop effective capacity-building programs.

CaMPAM

CaMPAM was created in 1997 under the framework of the UN Environment Program’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP) and its Specially Protected Area and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol of the Cartagena Convention. Since then, it has received the support of governments, private foundations, international donors and individual experts. This initiative brings together MPA researchers, administrators, managers, and educators from governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector in an inclusive network to exchange ideas and lessons learned through a variety of mechanisms. CaMPAM is guided by UNEP-CEP’s SPAW subprogramme which identifies strategic objectives in consultation with the SPAW parties and, in cooperation with its Regional Activity Center (SPAW-RAC). It provides leadership and resources for the network and its capacity building program. A team of mentors from the region is also consulted as they comprise collaborators, MPA practitioners and marine conservation scientists. Georgina Bustamante (bio) has served as the CaMPAM coordinator since 2008, and has contributed to several of the training and communication activities.

Most of CaMPAM activities are implemented on a project-basis modality. They depend on the resources available, from both, government and non-government organizations interested in this program and the objectives, and willing to partner with CaMPAM in selected activities.

The activities of CaMPAM can be found here.

MPAConnect

MPAConnect is a partnership between NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and GCFI that develops capacity-building programs to assist regional MPAs to address their needs and gaps.  The partnership is based on a Capacity Assessment of 10 countries that were selected by the CaMPAM Executive Team based on the ecological significance of their coral reefs, their level of commitment to international agreements, evidence of investment in marine protected areas, and linkages to U.S. coral reef ecosystems.  The countries of the original assessment were The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dutch Caribbean (Saba & St. Eustatius specifically), Honduras, Grenada, Mexico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The MPA management agencies in each country were invited to identify specific MPA sites to be included in the assessment, assisted by criteria such as biological value (high), conservation viability (high), and degree of threat (medium to low). A total of 27 MPA sites participated in the assessment. The results of the assessment.

Based on the results, a series of peer-to-peer workshops have been conducted that addressed the highest priorities of the assessments.  More information about MPAConnect can be found here.