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Marine Protected Areas Bilateral Workshop for Thailand 15-16 November 2021

Posted Friday 26 November 2021
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In light of the serious and urgent threats facing Asia’s marine ecosystems, as well as national commitments and Global Conservation Targets to increase marine protected area (MPA) coverage and management effectiveness, IUCN and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries Korea (MOF) are collaborating over the next five years on the implementation of the regional “Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Conservation and Management Project”. This five-year project aims to build on the experience and lessons learned by IUCN, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) and the key national agencies responsible for marine protected area management. The five participating countries are; Thailand; Vietnam; Cambodia; Bangladesh; and Pakistan. The aims of the project are to:

  • Share lessons and build the capacity of MPA managers across the Asia region;
  • Strengthen the management of select MPA sites in each of the project beneficiary countries;

The first year the project focuses on providing support to Thailand. The initial MPA Workshop event for Thailand on 15-16 November brought together experts and staff from key relevant agencies responsible for marine protected areas in Thailand, including the Department of National Parks and Department for Marine and Coastal Resources, to discuss the current situation regarding Marine Protected Areas management in Thailand, the current and future plans and some of the challenges.

The workshop opened by outlining the global conservation targets for marine biodiversity and how they influence the current work and future ambitions for MPA management in Thailand with a key interest in exploring the strategy development for the Andaman World Heritage Site. The first day also explored key the concepts and tools associated with evaluating ‘MPA management effectiveness’ and provided an update on the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) 4 and introduced the IUCN Green List for protected and conserved areas, as an ideal mechanism that adds value and harmonizes information from previous MPA assessments as well as a framework to guide new MPA plan development such as the WHS Strategy for the Andaman Seas, and including a sharing from Malaysia and Vietnam on their experiences of applying the Green List for MPAs in their respective countries.

The second day continue further exploration of the various components of MPA management effectiveness and the IUCN Green List in relation to the three main pillars; governance, design and planning, management processes. – with expert led discussion and examples from countries across the region, concluding with a discussion on priority areas of interest for MPA management in Thailand and specific areas of interest for future collaboration and support by IUCN.

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