Volume 62

Ecosystem-Based Approach Applied to an Adaptive Management Plan in the Seaflower MPA, a Pilot Experience Facing the Global Climate Change Adaptation

Prada, M,; Taylor, E,; Bent, O.
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Date: November, 2009

Pages: 288-293

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty -Second Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Cumaná

Country: Venezuela


The Seaflower MPA with 65,000km2, the largest in the Caribbean, was legally declared in January, 2005 by the Ministry of Environment. This MPA was the first of its kind in Colombia and opened the door for a new management approach based on the ecosystem functioning with a broad support of the local community. Responding to the challenges the management of such a big and oceanic area imposed CORALINA has been able to progressively secure funds and advance in several aspects of the MPA management plan. We will present the experience associated with the formulation of a management plan of the East-South-East atoll, MPA south section. The process began with the analysis, in a GIS context, of available information acquired during seven scientific expeditions (1994, 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2009), fishery-dependent data, log of visitors, and fishermen interviews. Ecosystem tendencies were then established for major communities including coral cover, coral disease, water quality, sea-birds biodiversity, queen conch densities and genetic diversity, reef fish abundance, eight fished species, halophyte vegetation and beach carrying. Productivity, biodiversity, habitat and communication were defined as the major management programs from seven stakeholder workshops. Agreements would be revised in five years when tendencies of MPA indicators can be established. The new management plan introduces global climate change adaptation measures. The success of this process resides in the continuous participation of local, national and international partners and having trusted leaders carrying the message for this co-management and adaptive approach.

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