The Coral Triangle Maps of the Month is a bi-weekly email running from August-December 2012 that showcases various maps that highlight the diversity and uniqueness of the Coral Triangle region. The maps also show some of the pressing issues that are threatening this very important resource considered the epicenter of the world's marine biodiversity. The maps are generated by the Coral Triangle Atlas team at The WorldFish Center.
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Map 06: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines
Balicasag Marine Protected Areas in Bohol, Philippines Credit: AP Maypa
Located in one of the world's most biodiverse marine regions and considered one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world, the Philippines is considered to be a global priority for marine conservation. Both international and local steps are being taken to protect its marine wealth, and the country has become a leader in the Coral Triangle in creating Marine Protected Areas.
As of 2012, the Philippines has over 1,500 marine protected areas (MSN-MSI Unpublished Database). Of the total number, 29 have been nationally designated through the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 while the rest have been established by local municipalities through various national laws and ordinances.
Recognizing that creating more marine protected areas does not necessarily equate to good conservation or management practices, the Philippines has also pioneered the assessment of management effectiveness in the Coral Triangle region through several methodologies such as the Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness Assessment Tool (MEAT). The Philippines' CTI National Coordinating Committee uses the MEAT as a tool in measuring progress towards achieving its CTI National Plan of Action goal; assess the effectiveness of existing marine protected areas in the country; and recognize local governments who are successful in managing their marine protected areas.
MEAT was developed by USAID's Coral Triangle Support Partnership through WWF-Philippines and Conservation International in collaboration with various organizations in the MPA Support Network. This comprehensive approach to creating and improving protection measures for the Philippines is conserving the coastal and marine resources on which the nation's people rely for food and income.
The Coral Triangle Atlas is an online Geographical Information System (GIS) database providing scientists, governments and NGOs with a view of spatial data at the regional scale. This project will improve the efficiency of conservation planning in the region by giving researchers and managers access to biophysical and socioeconomic information in spatially explicit while encouraging them to share their data to complete the gaps, therefore reducing duplicate data collection efforts and providing the most complete and most current data available.
By contributing data to the CT Atlas, NGO partners, governments and managers are helping to strengthen the effectiveness of conservation activities in the Coral Triangle through improved information flow and access to the region's best datasets.
For more information about the CT Atlas and to contribute data, contact: Annick Cros at[email protected]or ReefBase at [email protected] You can also participate in discussions or submit questions to the CT Atlas forum