Master Plan for a Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas

The Master plan for a regional network of marine protected areas states objectives and goals, as well as strategies, policies and guidelines for developing the master plan and management plans for MPAs. Ecosystem-based management and its relevant issues are mentioned including protection of areas with high larval connectivity and the need to involve community members and stakeholders in the process. However there is no information given on accomplishments or details of implementation to date. Although the Master Plan includes detailed information on goals and objectives, as well as planned strategies and policies, these seem to be in the early planning phase and have not been implemented.

The main legal instrument concerning the Master Plan for the MPAs regional network is the Protocol for the Conservation of Biodiversity and Establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPA Protocol). The protocol’s main objectives are the conservation, protection, and restoration of the health and integrity of the ecosystem and biological diversity; and to safeguard threatened species, habitats and sites of particular importance using a sustainable use and management practice. The document lays out these major objectives, goals and strategies for the establishment of MPAs, and gives guidance on successful management practice. It is not clear how much implementation has taken place subsequent to development of this strategic vision and planning.