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Large-scale expansion of marine protected area networks: lessons from Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2018, 00:00 authored by James FitzsimonsJames Fitzsimons, Geoffrey WescottGeoffrey Wescott
© 2018, IUCN - International Union for the Conservation of Nature. All rights reserved. Australia was one of the first countries to declare a marine protected area (MPA) in 1879, but it was not until the 1960s and 1970s, in efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef, that marine protection was considered in a concerted way. The more recent development of MPA networks (or systems) by governments in state, territory and national (Commonwealth) jurisdictional waters has again placed Australia in the global spotlight in MPA development. We assembled the experiences of MPA representatives from government agencies, non-government organisations, academia and industry (in the form of commissioned written book chapters) to describe various aspects of MPAs in Australia, from the history, successes and challenges in creating jurisdictional networks, to the science, economics and legal aspects of Australian MPA networks, to different sectoral perspectives. Key themes are discussed and include: 1) Marine protected areas are always contested (at first), 2) Jurisdiction-wide network declaration versus single MPA declarations, each have pros and cons, 3) For federal systems of government, coordination between the jurisdictions is important, 4) Fishery reserves as the first MPAs ‘muddy the waters’ for the objectives of modern MPAs, 5) A multitude of categories and zones and uses has also confused the MPA concept, 6) Multi-use versus no take: proving the benefits and the need for clear targets for each type, 7) Acknowledging the gap between pure science and realpolitik in the placement of MPAs, 8) Involvement of Indigenous communities in MPAs has been slower than for terrestrial protected areas but improving. The recent and substantial changes to the Australian Government’s historic 2012 declaration of a network of MPAs across its exclusive economic zone are also discussed.

History

Journal

Parks

Volume

24

Issue

2

Pagination

19 - 34

Publisher

IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

Location

Gland, Switzerland

ISSN

0960-233X

eISSN

2411-2119

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, IUCN

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