PAME MPA-network toolbox: Area-based conservation measures and ecological connectivity

MPA toolboxPAME’s “Toolbox” project aims to develop guidance to assist Arctic states in advancing their MPA networks by providing theory and tools that can be used to assess and protect the diversity of genes, species, populations, habitats, features, and ecosystems; their interactions and processes; and the ability to adapt to change.

This guidance is intended to inform decision-makers, practitioners, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders involved in developing MPA networks and ecosystem-based management in the marine Arctic. Most Arctic states have established some MPAs, but are still in the early stages of filling gaps and connecting and managing MPAs as ecologically functional MPA networks (CAFF & PAME 2016).

The project also intends to foster collaboration on MPA network development between Arctic countries, Permanent Participants, Arctic Council Working Groups, and the conservation and science communities. Scientific literature, traditional and local knowledge, and experience from elsewhere in the world show that a systematic and participatory approach to building MPA networks greatly improves conservation effectiveness (Cicin-Sain and Belfiore 2005).

Enabling collaboration and participation is an important aim of this project. As the stated in the Framework, the purpose of a pan-Arctic MPA network is both “to protect and restore marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features” and to “preserve cultural heritage and subsistence natural resources for present and future generations”.

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