My new paper, Developing Marine Protected Area Networks in the Coral Triangle: Good Practices for Expanding the Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area System is now online. The paper appears in a Special Issue of Coastal Management: “Establishing a Region-wide System of Marine Protected Areas in the Coral Triangle”. All of the special issue papers have emerged from the hard efforts of many organisations and individuals working with the CTI-CFF Marine Protected Areas working group over the last 5 years. The photo below shows some of us, including representative from the six countries – Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, at our final meeting in Honiara last year.

In my paper, we explore different approaches to scaling up to marine protected are networks that have been undertaken in the region, and identify common factors that have resulted in local successes. The paper highlights a case study from all six countries – note the long list of co-authors! Some of these will be familiar from the literature, such as the Kimbe Bay MPA network in Papua New Guinea, and Choiseul in the Solomon Islands. Other case studies, such as Nino Konis Santana Park in Timor Leste, are brand new, and it was great to learn about these in the process of putting the paper together.

Rebecca Weeks, Porfirio M. Aliño, Scott Atkinson, Pacifico Beldia, Augustine Binson, Wilfredo L. Campos, Rili Djohani, Alison L. Green, Richard Hamilton, Vera Horigue, Robecca Jumin, Kay Kalim, Ahsanal Kasasiah, Jimmy Kereseka, Carissa Klein, Lynette Laroya, Sikula Magupin, Barbara Masike, Candice Mohan, Rui Miguel Da Silva Pinto, Agnetha Vave-Karamui, Cesar Villanoy, Marthen Welly, Alan T. White. 2014. Developing Marine Protected Area Networks in the Coral Triangle: Good Practices for Expanding the Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area System. Coastal Management 42:2, 183-205. The paper is open access and free to download!

166012_10151948461929498_1539670319_nABSTRACT: The Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area System aspires to become a region-wide, comprehensive, ecologically representative and well-managed system of marine protected areas (MPAs) and MPA networks. The development of this system will proceed primarily through the implementation of ecological, social, and governance MPA networks at the sub-national scale. We describe six case studies that exemplify different approaches taken to develop MPA networks in the Coral Triangle region at different scales: Nusa Penida in Indonesia; Tun Mustapha Park in Malaysia; Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea; Verde Island Passage in the Philippines; The Lauru Ridges to Reefs Protected Area Network in Choiseul, Solomon Islands; and Nino Konis Santana Park in Timor Leste. Through synthesis of these case studies, we identify five common themes that contributed to successful outcomes: (1) the need for multi-stakeholder and cross-level management institutions; (2) the value of integrating cutting-edge science with local knowledge and community-based management; (3) the importance of building local capacity; (4) using multiple-use zoning to balance competing objectives; and (5) participation in learning and governance networks. These lessons will be invaluable in guiding future efforts to expand the Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area System, and provide important insights for MPA practitioners elsewhere.

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