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A global assessment of the direct and indirect benefits of marine protected areas for coral reef conservation

This study contributes to the evidence of the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for enhancing coral cover. A global dataset with information of 30 MPAs,  obtained with standardized survey methods, was used was to test the effects of five key MPA attributes on coral cover, algal cover and reef fish biomass. The results show that only well-managed, no-take MPAs that were at least ten years old had higher coral cover compared to unprotected areas.

Evaluating fisheries systems: A comprehensive analytical framework and its application to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy

To identify the priorities for future reforms of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the authors of this article developed an analytical framework. This framework consists of 17 criteria and indicators, which were applied to the CFP governance system, including its institutions, regulations and processes. Significantly, the results show that not one of the 17 criteria is sufficiently met for an effective resource policy.

Sharks, rays and marine protected areas: A critical evaluation of current perspectives

Although Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly advocated for the protection of sharks and rays, which species can benefit from MPAs remains largely unclear and many recently created large MPAs have vague objectives and potentially different notions of 'success'. Therefore, this article critically evaluates perspectives on how MPAs can contribute to shark and ray conservation. It is argued that a stronger focus on achieving social outcomes in the establishment and management of MPAs can benefit the protection of sharks and rays.

Marine protected areas enhance coral reef functioning by promoting fish biodiversity

In this article, the researchers use meta-analysis and path-analytical framework to analyse the impact of ecosystem-based management and area closures on key ecological processes. Through studies in three regions (the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean), it is demonstrated that, on average, marine protected areas enhance herbivory rates on coral reefs and increase the species richness of herbivorous fishes. In turn, these fishes enhance browsing rates on macroalgae, though only a small subset of the herbivore assemblage was responsible for the majority of browsing in the studied regions.

Study on the economic benefits of marine protected areas

This report is one of the products of a project reviewing the economic benefits of MPAs, which is initiated by the European Commission and carried out by ICF, IEEP and PML. This study, task five of the larger project, gathered information from ten MPA case studies through qualitative research including stakeholder interviews and field visits. The ten case studies investigated the economic benefits of MPAs to evalaluate findings resulting from the project's previous research tasks and to collect lessons learned based on situations from different MPAs in European waters. 

Large Scale Marine Protected Areas Current status and consideration of socio-economic dimensions

This discussion paper deals with the topic of Large Scale Marine Protected Areas (LSMPAs) through a global analysis. The paper discusses research needs and provides insights in the benefits of LSMPAs for the marine ecosystem and the people depending on it. Recommendations on socio-economic, ecological, governance and other research topics are included in the paper. 

IUCN Global Standard for Marine Protected Areas

In this video, IUCN urges for the effective design and management  of MPAs at a global level. To support governments, NGOs, MPA managers and other people striving for this, IUCN developed the IUCN Global Standard for Marine Protected Areas; a synthesis of the IUCN Green List Standard for Protected and Conserved Areas, together with current relevant policies taken from approved IUCN Resolutions and guidance documents.

Enabling Effective and Equitable Marine Protected Areas - Guidance on combining governance approaches

This guide is developed by UN Environment (UNEP) to provide evidence-based advice on how to use the governance of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in promoting ocean conservation and a sustainable use of marine resources. The governance framework and key issues highlight several governance situations, and are supported by case studies that exemplify different governance approaches, challenges and solutions. The guide recognises that each situation demands its own solution and therefore offers a flexible approach to governance.

A Practical Guide to the Effective Design and Management of MPAs for Sharks and Rays

This guide provides science-based advice on developing and maintaining MPAs for sharks and rays, which are increasingly threatened with extinction. Supported by examples of MPAs around the world, the clear guidelines help to maximize the impact of spatial protection by outlining how to ensure the areas are well designed, implemented, managed and enforced for the long term. The guide builds on the most comprehensive global analysis to date of the effectiveness of shark-focused MPAs, as well as a review of known information on the movement of sharks. 

Living Planet Report 2018

The Living Planet Report, WWF’s flagship publication released every two years, is a comprehensive study of trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet. The Living Planet Report 2018 is the twelfth edition of the report and provides the scientific evidence to what nature has been telling us repeatedly: unsustainable human activity is pushing the planet’s natural systems that support life on Earth to the edge.