While there is a great emphasis on hitting targets for creating Marine Protected Areas, managing these areas effectively is critical. Too often, we see MPAs get designated as “paper parks” with no management plans or no effective implementation of these plans. The creation of MPAs without effective management does little to protect biodiversity, support fisheries and benefit local communities. While The Bahamas has been a regional leader in the creation if MPAs, few of these areas have management plans and even fewer have active management including marked boundaries, enforcement of regulations or other management.
The Perry Institute is working with partners to help develop and implement management plans for MPAs in The Bahamas. We are actively assessing the status habitats and marine resources in MPAs to develop effective management measures. We are also supporting stakeholder consultations and investigating the role of co-management – partnerships with local or national organizations that are not mandated with MPA management – to improve management of these areas. Finally, we are working to build capacity within MPA management authorities and potential co-management partners to improve effectiveness of management.
- Bahamas National Trust
- The Nature Conservancy