September 10th 2012, Jeju, South Korea - Community leaders from 12 countries share experiences of locally managed marine areas with policymakers, conservationists and scientific community at the World Conservation Congress.
Today, local leaders from around the globe showcased inspirational community-based approaches to marine conservation at the World Conservation Congress on the island of Jeju, South Korea. These pioneers lead Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA) in all corners of the world and hail from diverse countries including Fiji, Kenya, Madagascar, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica and India.
The Congress is the world's largest gathering of conservation professionals, and has brought together scientists, conservationists, and policymakers from all regions to exchange knowledge about how to address the critical challenges facing nature conservation today.
Left to Right: Samba Roger (Madagascar), Gildas Andriamlala (Madagascar), K.G Mohammed (Kochi, India) at the LMMA workshop.
The local leaders were the focus of a congress workshop designed to showcase community-based approaches to tackling coastal and marine resource management challenges. The event provided an ideal platform to build new partnerships between community conservationists from the across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.
The half-day event, Locally Managed Marine Areas: Towards A Global Learning Network, enabled representatives from community-based marine conservation initiatives to connect in person and explore lessons learned from their work in marine conservation and fisheries management.
"Today's events show how coastal communities can truly be placed at the centre of their own resource management. Hearing from other LMMA leaders from as far away as South America and Oceania has been a transformative experience, and one that will have lasting benefits for all of today's workshop participants," said Jacqueline Razanoelisoa, a community leader and Professor at the Marine Institute of the University of Toliara in Madagascar,
The participants split into groups and discuss the LMMA approach to marine conservation.
As well as protecting threatened marine and coastal biodiversity, community-based marine conservation efforts can play a crucial role in safeguarding food security and addressing poverty in some of the world's most vulnerable coastal communities. Over the coming days the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Members' Assembly will consider two motions relevant to the issues raised in this meeting. The first will urge dedicating further efforts and resources to advance ecosystem-based adaptation in coastal areas. The second will formally request the Director General to promote awareness of Locally Managed Marine Areas as an essential strategy for helping achieve global targets for marine protection.
The LMMA leaders were selected from over 100 applicants to receive a travel scholarship to attend the conference. The scholarships, as well as funding for the LMMA events at the congress, were kindly supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The workshop was hosted by Blue Ventures in partnership with the LMMA Network, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and CORDIO, a coral research non-profit involving researchers from 11 countries.
See IUCN's coverage of this event by clicking here
Shawn Peabody, Madagascar Director. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Original artwork by Malagasy Artist, Nady Ratsimbazafy depicting the Jeju convention center and traditional fishing vessels from represented countries.
Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation, dedicated to working with local communities to conserve threatened marine environments. Their acclaimed conservation programmes work with some of the world's poorest coastal people to develop conservation and poverty alleviation initiatives that protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods. Amongst other achievements, Blue Ventures has created the largest community-managed marine reserves in the Indian Ocean, and pioneered ambitious research programmes tackling critical issues facing marine biodiversity conservation and resource-dependent coastal communities. More information at http://blueventures.org/our-approach/.
The LMMA Network is a group of practitioners involved in community-based marine conservation projects around the globe. The Network interested in learning under what conditions using an LMMA strategy works, doesn't work, and why. The Network provides information and resources on locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs) and community-based adaptive management.
The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme, the world's foremost intergovernmental environmental organisation, and WCMC, a UK-based charity. UNEP-WCMC is UNEP's specialist biodiversity assessment arm, and the Centre for UNEP's collaboration with WCMC. The Centre's goal is to provide authoritative, relevant and timely information for countries, MEAs, organisations and companies to use in the development and implementation of their policies and decisions.
CORDIO is a collaborative program involving researchers in 11 countries in the central and western Indian Ocean. CORDIO was created in 1999 to assess the widespread degradation of the coral reefs throughout the region. Gradually much of the research is focusing on mitigation of damage to reefs and on alternative livelihoods for people dependent on reefs that are being degraded due to climate change and other stress factors.
The MacArthur Foundation is one of the United States' largest independent foundations. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media. International programmes focus on international issues, including human rights and international justice, peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, higher education in Nigeria and Russia, migration, and population and reproductive health. MacArthur grantees work in about 60 countries.
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