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Marine Protected Areas: an essential tool for the Future European Maritime Policy


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Title: Marine Protected Areas: an essential tool for the Future European Maritime Policy

Marine Protected Areas an essential tool for the
Future European Maritime Policy
  • Regional Secretariat for Environment and Sea
  • Regional Directorate for Environment
  • Frederico Cardigos

In this presentation
  • Value of MPAs
  • Ecological
  • Socio-Economic
  • MPAs of the Azores
  • Types
  • Examples
  • Future of MPAs in the Azores
  • Regional Network of MPAs
  • MPAs and Europe

The Importance of Marine Protected Areas
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are recognized in
    most regions of the world as an important way to
    conserve life-sustaining ecosystems and specific
    habitat for marine animals
  • They are used to protect and preserve
    representative samples of marine biodiversity for
    the benefit of future generations.
  • They are distinct from terrestrial protected
    areas by being less about preventing immediate
    threats or looming extinction and more about
    precaution and the benefits to industry of
    preserving types of habitat.

Benefits of MPAs
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been shown to
    have substantial benefits for
  • renewing fish and other marine populations
  • scientific and educational initiatives
  • encouraging support of marine conservation from
    human communities
  • attracting important economic interest from
    marine ecotourism that is compatible with zoned

Influence on Economy
  • Fisheries MPA help preserve genetic diversity,
    especially in heavily exploited populations they
    provide a refuge where individuals can mature and
    populations evolve unaffected by harvesting and
    other human impacts
  • Contributions to technology and scientific
    knowledge the oceans and the biodiversity they
    contain provide the raw materials for new sources
    of food, textiles, medicines and energy
  • Contribution to sustainable tourism diversity
    and abundance of marine life attracts tourists,
    generating business opportunities and sustaining
    coastal communities. At the same time, marine
    protected areas provide a tool for regulating the
    impacts of tourism on the marine environment and
    ensuring equitable access rights

Classified Areas of the Azores
  • The classified areas of othe Azores are
    exceptional sites that combine a high botanical,
    faunistical, ecological, landscape and geological

Regional Protected Areas
Natura 2000 Network
Marine Biosphere Reserve
World Heritage Sites
Timeline of (Marine) Protected Areas in the
Revision of Regional Network of Protected Areas
OSPAR Corvo, Rainbow, Lucky Strike, Menez Gwen
Classification of Corvo Regional Natural Park
Prop. 2 islands UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve
Nomination of 1 Protected Landscape of Regional
Interest (with marine component)
  • Proposals for
  • Lucky Strike and Menez Gwen
  • Corvo
  • Faial-Pico Channel

Proposed 6 sites for OSPAR MPA Network
Designation of Natura 2000 sites
Designation of 8 MPA
First Marine Protected Area (included in a
Protected Area) Monte da Guia Protected Landscape
Regional Management Models different answers to
different needs
  • Corvo being the smallest island of the
    archipelago, it exhibits a well preserved coastal
    environment and contains a small population,
    receptive to proposals on environmental
    conservation. Therefore, it seems to unite all
    conditions for a sustainable management plan.
  • Monte da Guia (first MPA) SCIs located on the
    coastal and marine environment at the island of
    Faial are subjects of strong pressure from
    tourism, fishing and urban activities.
    Consequently, the necessary management was of a
    different type, involving a greater variety of
    socio-economic sectors.
  • Formigas and the Dollabarat reef represent the
    setting for a third management model. Isolated,
    this area could be made into an oceanic offshore

Marine Protected Areas in the Azores
  • 24 Protected Areas (classified)
  • 12 Regional Natural Reserves
  • 4 Protected Landscape of Regional Interest
  • 7 Regional Natural Monuments
  • 1 Natural Park

11 are or include Marine Protected Areas
OSPAR Network of MPA
  • Purpose complete by 2010 a joint network of
    well-managed marine protected areas of Europe
    that, together with the NATURA 2000 network, is
    ecologically coherent.
  • Formigas/Dollabarat bank reported to MASH 05,
    being first OSPAR MPA nomination.
  • Corvo and three MPAs covering the Rainbow, Menez
    Gwen and Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent fields
    are reported in 2006 and adopted in 2007.
  • (Originally, the Rainbow hydrothermal vent was
    thought to be an area outside of national
    jurisdiction, and was proposed by WWF as an MPA.)

Lucky Strike Menez Gwen
  • Lucky Strike and Menez Gwen are two off shore
    hydrothermal vent fields of relatively shallow
    location (-1700m and -900m deep, respectively)
    located inside the Portuguese EEZ, in the
    proximity to the Azores
  • The sites were proposed with the aim of
    promoting knowledge, monitoring and conservation
    of an area that best represents species, habitats
    and ecological processes in deep-sea hydrothermal
    vents in the OSPAR area, while enabling
    sustainable scientific research and promoting
    education and environmental public awareness and
    interest. This situation creates a unique
    opportunity to link science, education and
    environment protection

  • Biosphere Reserves Graciosa and Corvo nature
    certificates of quality that have the potential
    of triggering sustainable development, through
    the promotion of the quality image of these
  • World Heritage Sites Mid-Atlantic Ridge
    Azorean (marine off-shore) sites along the ridge
    may become candidates to this classification

Natura 2000 Network - Azores
  • Habitats Directive preservation of threatened,
    rare and vulnerable natural habitats and species
  • 19 (23) SCI/ZEC with management proposals

Regional Network of Protected Areas
  • As a consequence of the ecological deterioration
    during the last two decades, various isolated
    legislative measures have been taken for the
    conservation of marine species and habitats in
    the Azores
  • As a Region with a maritime area larger than the
    terrestrial, the Azores has a special
    responsibility for the conservation and
    management of its marine and coastal environments
    and their resources
  • With a view to prevent what has happened with
    previous scattered measures, the need to
    implement an integrated program of management
    planning became evident.

Regional Network of Protected Areas
  • In 2007, the Regional Government of the Azores
    legislated the revision of the Regional Network
    of Protected Areas
  • Classification and re-classification of protected
    areas based on a management model

Island Natural Parks
Azores Marine Park
Terrestrial classified areas within territory of
each island (may include marine component, if
within territorial waters)
Made up of the marine classified areas, that
integrate one only management unit and are
situated beyond territorial waters
Regional Network of Protected Areas
  • In a move towards consistency in defining and
    managing marine protected areas worlwide, the
    Regional Government of the Azores adopted the
    World Conservation Union's (IUCN) set of seven
    internationally recognised management categories
  • The terrestrial and marine areas of the Island
    Natural Parks and the marine areas of the Azores
    Marine Park will fall under the following
  • a) Strict nature reserve
  • b) Natural monument
  • c) Habitat/species management area
  • d) Protected Landscape/seascape
  • e) Managed resource protected area.

Regional Network of Protected Areas
  • Existent classified areas will be re-classified
    in order to integrate the network new
    classifications will also be studied.
  • IBAs
  • Regional Legislation
  • Pico-Faial Channel
  • ()
  • Significant step towards international
    recognition of the natural and landscape values
    of the Region

  • The Oslo-Paris International Commission (OSPAR)
    has accepted the Portuguese jurisdiction over the
    deep-sea hydrothermal vent Rainbow, situated
    outside the EEZ but close to the Azorean
  • The classification now granted by the OSPAR
    commission renders reason to the Regional
    Government which proposed to the Legislative
    Assembly the creation of an Azores Marine Park
    with external boundaries not limited by the 200
  • The new Marine Park, in the phase of judiciary
    description, will have an area of 2.215 hectares
    beyond the Azorean EEZ.

The Role of Europe
  • Green Paper (towards a Future Maritime Policy for
    the Union)
  • Ecosystem Approach Precautionary Principle
  • Regards MPAs as an essential management tool in
    spatial planning for a growing maritime economy
  • Advocates for a common vision in the form of an
    overall coastal and marine spatial development
  • Off-shore activities (eg. MPA) a move towards
    more coordination between these and among Member
  • Azorean contribution to the Green Paper the
    Regional Government has made a strong investment
    in the qualification of the Regional Network of
    Protected Areas an example to follow

NATURA 2000 Network - Europe
  • The European Commission must continue to be
    strict with EU member states over non-compliance
    with environmental directives.
  • The success of NATURA 2000 Network demands the
    application of management measures and the
    adoption of the network as a national
    responsibility of each Member State.
  • The NATURA 2000 Network represents a unique
    opportunity to demonstrate that environmental
    concerns can be integrated with other politics
    and can be compatible with social, cultural and
    economic development.
  • Extension of the NATURA 2000 Network to the deep
    sea and off-shore will allow for higher
    environmental protection.

MPAs across Europe
  • European MPA Network that cuts across common
    needs and interests when the establishment of
    protected areas is coordinated to form a network,
    it ensures the maintenance of ecosystems across
    many levels - locally, regionally and globally.
  • Creation of pan-European corridor MPAs for the
    safeguarding of the life-cycle of migratory
  • Tackle the giants of marine environmental
    degradation with the use of MPAs industrial
    fishing fleets and trawlers, offshore oil and
    mining operations and dumping of industrial and
    military toxic waste.
  • The creation of effective Category I (strict
    nature reserve) marine protected areas, nested
    within biosphere reserves, is an important way to
    exercise the precautionary principle to protect
    ecosystems while research is carried out.

Thank you.
Photos ImagDOP, Luís Quinta and SRAM-Azores