Volume 71

Increasing the Visibility and Influence of Data in Decisions for Biodiversity and Protected Area Management

Julian Walcott;Hilary Lohmann;Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn
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Date: November, 2018

Pages: 423

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres Island

Country: Colombia


One of the most globally utilized tools for the conservation of coastal and ocean biodiversity and preservation of cru-cial ecosystem services is the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs). Many sites in the Caribbean have made pro-gress in addressing the paucity of data needed to achieve the goals and objectives of MPAs thanks to the investment of vari-ous resources from national, regional and international levels. With gaps in data collection and resource monitoring filling, the emergent question is, what to do with data to make it visible, accessible and relevant in decision-making and to steer the effective management of MPAs? One mechanism is better marketing and communication of data, translating salient infor-mation in language and appearance to better fit in the environs of decision makers. To package data in more relatable, visu-ally appealing and easily digestible products is a goal of the Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway (Caribbean Gateway), a regional entity which functions as a reference information system for biodiversity and protected areas (PAs) in the Caribbe-an region. In an effort to address the divide between scientists/practitioners and decision/policy makers, the Caribbean Gateway is developing a marketing and communication tool in the form of a ‘State of Protected Areas’ report for the Carib-bean region. Development has been, and continues to be, influenced by persons on both sides of the spectrum to ensure that the end product effectively promotes and facilitates the use of data in the decision making environment. The ‘State of Pro-tected Areas’ report will be utilized for monitoring and evaluation of management efforts for PAs within the Caribbean region and also as a contribution to the global conversation on biodiversity and PAs.

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