Volume 58

Development of General Management Plans For the Marine Protected Areas of The Turks and Caicos Islands

de Fontaubert, C.
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Date: November, 2005

Pages: 307-310

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Eighth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres

Country: Colombia


Throughout the Wider Caribbean, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are increasingly looked at to address a series of management issues, ranging from collapsing fisheries, to unbridled tourism development, to the impacts of climate change on coral reefs and related ecosystems. In practice, however, the establishment and management of MPAs often leaves much to be desired, particularly in view of the growing problem of paper parks, MPAs that have been theoretically, established, “on paper”, but hardly managed on the ground. This paper looks at the MPAs of the Turks and Caicos, how they were established and to what end, and contrasts the present situation with the objectives managers could hope to reach through adequate management. While the Turks and Caicos were pioneers in the establishment of MPAs, many of the objectives of these MPAs are poorly understood and the stakeholder communities have not been sufficiently involved in their implementation. As a result, the Centre for Marine Resource Studies and the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources initiated a process of drafting general management plans (GMPs) for the MPAs in each of the islands, drawing on a model developed by IUCN – The World Conservation Union in East Africa. While the GMPs are still in the drafting phase, their implementation is expected to take several years and is based on the full participation of the local communities and all stakeholders involved.

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