CaMPAM Network and Forum
- The Training of Trainers for MPA Managers
- Regional Training Workshop on Socio-economic Monitoring
- Small Grants Fund (SGF)
- Promoting Sustainable Fishing Practices and Alternative Livelihoods for Fishers
- Exchanging Lessons between MPAs
- The Marine Protected Areas Database
- Resources for MPA Managers
In a workshop held in Miami in 1997 convened by the Caribbean Environment Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Biscayne National Park, 50 representatives of 22 countries proposed the creation of a network for building capacity of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Wider Caribbean region. Since then, UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP) has coordinated the network and implemented a capacity building programme with different sources of funding and using different types of training tools.
Thanks to the initiative of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (www.gcfi.org) -the most important forum of marine fisheries scientists in the Caribbean- and as a result of the discussions sustained by its Board of Directors and at workshops of its Annual Meetings, several organizations decided to partner in an effort to expand CaMPAM.
In March 2004 at the White Water to Blue Water (www.ww2bw.org) Conference, a comprehensive partnership of organizations was formed for strengthening CaMPAM allowing for a better use of the network’s resources. The partners included the United Nations Environment Programme’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP), The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense, the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI, see gcfi.www.org), offices within NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, and others. As a result of this partnership, CaMPAM (http://www.gcfi.org/campam/CaMPAM.htm) has become a vibrant network with the development of new and existing programmes focusing on its original mission. CaMPAM has been able to use the Annual Scientific Meeting and Workshops at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) as its fora to discuss emergent issues related to MPA management with the attendance of scientists, educators, fishers, MPA managers and government natural resources management officials of the Wider Caribbean region.
The renewed CaMPAM N&F was officially rolled out at the 57th annual meeting of the GCFI in 2004 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since then, the annual meeting of the GCFI has served as the CaMPAM annual meeting. Funds are solicited from the partners to support travel for MPA managers from throughout the region. MPA related presentations focus on technical and poster sessions related to MPA Science and Management with simultaneous interpretation into English/Spanish, and special workshops designed to develop capacity in a focused area. In 2004, the ½ day CaMPAM N&F workshop focused on the development of the Regional MPA Database, and MPA grant opportunities. Over 40 CaMPAM N&F members participated in this workshop. The papers that resulted from these presentations were published in the Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and were distributed to all CaMPAM N&F participants as well as to all registrants at the conference.
In the last GCFI, conference held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in November 5-12, 2007, along with the regular session dedicated to MPA science and management issues, CaMPAM’s attention was focused on coral reefs in preparation to the International Year of the Reef in 2008 (IYOR). A joint meeting of coral reef managers and scientists was coordinated by UNEP-CAR/RCU to enhance dialogue among these actors and identify management issues which the scientific community could assist in addressing. The outcome of the meting was utilized to develop activities in support of IYOR in the region, as well as contribute with regional inputs from managers to the upcoming International Symposium on Coral Reef Studies which was held in Florida in July 2008.
The following information summarizes some of the major activities implemented by the CaMPAM N&F to date:
The Training of Trainers for MPA Managers
This is CaMPAM flagship training programme. It was designed in 1999 and includes a yearly 2-week regional course for MPA practitioners that then return to their country and train others. The programme alternates English and Spanish courses to address the needs of the entire region. Approximately. 85 MPA staff, stewards from conservation NGOs, government environmental planners and college professors have been trained on MPA planning, policy, management, research and monitoring,as well as provided with communication and training skills in order to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge. After 8 years, 7 regional courses (each with 12-18 trainees) have been implemented and over a 1000 MPA staff have been trained through the local follow-up courses undertaken by the trainees. The last regional course took place in September 2007 in the Mexican city of Tulum, in the Mayan Riviera, which contains one of the largest, best conserved and most threatened (by tourism development) nature reserves of the region, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. It was attended by 15 professionals from Mexico, Cuba. Dominican Republic, Haití, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Colombia and Venezuela. The trainees were park managers, technical staff of national park services and conservation organizations, and a college professor. The next course will be held in Tobago in April 2009.
The course covers 8 modules on all aspects of MPA management imparted by regional experts that use the training manual produced by UNEP-CAR/RCU and is available in English and Spanish. In addition to the 3-4 instructors (conservation professionals and college professors), the courses are enriched by visits to the local MPA, lectures by local experts, and exchanges with local communities with innovative and sustainable fishing/tourism practices. In every course, a course evaluation session is held to allow the course coordinator to gather inputs from participants to improve the training programme.
These annual experiences, together with an in-depth evaluation conducted during 2007 by an external expert on the Training Programme has made clear that the ToT programme is approaching a stage where it will require complementing with other training tools and initiatives in order to maximize its impact. Among them we can mention the use of web-based lectures, a more active use of CaMPAM Network and Forum server to disseminate information and promote discussions, the use of the GCFI Annual meetings and other fora for discussion, etc. Other very interesting approach is the implementation of a mentorship program where selected MPA staff spend time and do job shading in more mature MPAs. The model for this kind of activity is already there with the ICRAN-UNEP Demonstration -Target Sites Programme and the CaMPAM exchange programme coordinated by UNEP-CEP in recent years but currently interrupted due to insufficient funding.
The evaluation report is available here.
Regional Training Workshop on Socio-economic Monitoring
The SocMon Caribbean Workshop was convened in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, 9–13 May 2005 with logistical assistance from the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) and the Department of Fisheries of Saint Lucia and funding the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and UNEP-CEP. Eighteen participants from 8 countries: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago were trained in using "Socioeconomic Monitoring Guidelines for Coastal Managers in the Caribbean: SocMon Caribbean", to complement their existing monitoring programmes. Local socioeconomic monitoring activities have been implemented in: Xcalak NP, Mexico; Shoal Bay/Island Harbour MP, Anguilla; Montego Bay MP, Jamaica; Cades Bay Marine Reserve, Antigua & Barbuda; SMMA, St Lucia; and Sandy Island Oyster bed MP, Grenada.
Small Grants Fund (SGF)
As part of its continued support to the CaMPAM N & F and in keeping with recent global initiatives such as the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) which aims to develop MPA networks of demonstration sites, UNEP-CEP has established two small grants fund (SGF) within the SPAW sub-programme of the CEP which hosts the CaMPAM N&F. The SGF focuses on MPA strengthening and can provide support as either financial assistance or technical assistance, up to a maximum of US$8,000. The projects are funded by UNEP-CEP, and experts within the CaMPAM N & F contribute to the selection and review of the project proposals and final reports.
The goals of the SGF are as follows:
- To strengthen the management capability of marine protected area (MPA) managers in the WCR;
- To strengthen the capacities of institutions managing MPAs;
- To develop and implement strategies for increased involvement of stakeholders in MPA management;
- To develop and implement training programmes, strategies, and tools for improved management of MPAs;
- To act as a catalyst in attracting funds from other bilateral and multilateral initiatives for the purpose of addressing stated priority problems and issues;
- To promote “best management” MPAs sites to serve as sites for demonstration, training, and internship; and
- To promote horizontal exchanges of all types among MPAs, including twinning and mentoring programmes.
The following projects have been funded by UNEP-CEP through the CaMPAM Small Grant Programme, UN Foundation/ICRAN and others:
- Negril Marine Park (Jamaica). The NGO Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society conducted a coral reef and water quality monitoring program and the data, processed by the Univ. of West Indies Data Management Center, and contributed to the report on the status of coral reefs in that subregion.
- Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, San Andrés Is. (Colombia). Sanitary facilities were installed in Johnny Cay Park.
- Buccoo Reef Marine Park (Tobago). Training on GIS and remote sensing.
- St. Eustatius Marine Park (Netherland Antilles). Fisheries resources assessment for zoning and management.
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve (N Belize). Environmental education outreach activities on San Pedro town and adjacent communities (materials for schools and the general public, clean up campaigns), SCUBA training, training on marine life identification and coral reef monitoring.
- Soufriere Marine Management Area (Santa Lucia). Presentations in schools and hotels; production of bulletins and the documentary film “Small activities, great impacts” for the public.
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (Mexico). Strengthening the capacity for the implementation of the management plan (environmental monitoring, socioeconomic assessment of the Javier Rojo Gómez community, signalization, domestic solid wastes treatment technology transfer).
- Bonaire National Marine Park (Netherland Antilles). Enhancing the financial capacity through the development of a financial plan for fees collection; mooring buoys installation in private docks; implementation of Lac Bay park management plan and fisheries reserves.
Promoting sustainable fishing practices and alternative livelihoods for fishers
Pilot sites are selected for implementation of small projects under the SPAW programme aiming at approaching fishers and MPA managers for the common goal of conserving and restoring fisheries resources. The projects are funded by UNEP-CEP with funding provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Priority objectives of this SGF programme include the following:
- Application of results of previous projects at a pilot or commercial level, in the locality;
- Projects that allow for the increase or maintenance of fishing yields or the economic income of the fishers leading to regulation or reduction of fishing effort to promote the restoration of the fishing populations;
- Description of fishing practices that serve as a basis for MPA zoning, and the elaboration or application of fishing regulations;
- Application of economic alternatives for fishermen (displaced by zoning restrictions);
- Consultation processes with communities to identify and promote sustainable alternatives livelihoods for fishermen;
- Raising awareness of local community, resource users or other stakeholders on the needs of sustainably managing fisheries resources;
- Fostering fishing cooperatives;
- Testing or application of a community approach on fisheries management (exclusive fishing rights, concessions of fishing areas, etc.);
- Exchange of experiences and best practices among fishermen of different countries; and
- Training of fishermen or other stakeholders on economic alternatives or sustainable fishing practices.
Successful applicants were:
- National Fishermen Producers Cooperative Society Ltd. (NFPC), (Belize). Strengthening Fisheries Monitoring & Data Gathering Capacity for Lighthouse Reef Atoll Marine Protected Area Co-Management;
- Negril Marine Park (Jamaica). Mesh exchange Programme in the Negril Marine Park;
- Fundacion Balua Uala, Kuna Yala, Panama:Promoting sustainable fisheries in Kuna Yala, Panama
- Fundacion Cientifica Los Roques (FCLR), Venezuela: Identification of Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations in Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela
Funds can be accessed for a maximum of US$15,000. A call for proposals is issued upon availability of funding.
Exchanging lessons between MPAs
UNEP-CEP is also promoting its exchange programme on sustainable fisheries and alternative livelihoods for fishers. This programme offers a unique opportunity for face-to-face exchanges with people of the same profession in countries of the Wider Caribbean Region. The aim of the programme is to facilitate exchanges between countries and sites where successful sustainable fisheries practices or alternative livelihoods for fishers have been developed to allow for transfer of experiences and practices within the region.
The exchange programme is open for organizations or institutions (individual applications will not be considered). Priority is given to exchanges addressing:
- Application of revenue generation alternatives for fishermen (e.g. displaced by zoning restrictions);
- Application of sustainable fishing practices;
- Raising awareness of local community, resource users or other relevant stakeholders on the needs for sustainably managing fisheries resources;
- Exchange of experiences and best practices among fishermen and/or Marine Protected Area managers of different countries.
- Priority is given to proposals where the UNEP-CEP funding will add value to, or facilitate, exchanges where some funding has already been secured from other sources.
Small grants fund projects and exchanges that have been selected include the following:
- Project Implementation of a Mesh Exchange Program in the Negril Marine Park, Jamaica
- Cultivating Sponges as an alternative for fishers displaced by destructive gear, Cuba
- Identification of Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations in Los Roques, Venezuela
- Promoting sustainable fisheries in Kuna Yala, Panama
- Enhancing marine resources governance through developing capacity for communication in the eastern Caribbean, CERMES, Barbados. View case study
- Towards a Sustainable Bonefish Recreational Fishery at Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela. View case study
- Sustainable management of multi-species reef fish spawning aggregations: exchanging fisher experiences: Antigua and Venezuela to Belize and Mexico.
- Using experiences from the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Mexico - Balu Uala, Panama.
- Sustainability of Coastal Shrimp Fishing within two Caribbean Coastal Communities,TNC and National Aquarium, Dominican Republic.
- Intercambio para el Desarrollo de APEJU (Asociacion de Pescadores de Juanillo), ReefCheck, Dominican Republic. View case study
- Caribbean Regional Fisheries mechanism (CRFM) CERMES-UWI and Antigua & Barbuda Fisheries Alliance Inc.: Strengthening and Networking of fisher folk organizations (FFOs) at the Community, National and Regional Levels in the CARICOM region. View Case study
The Marine Protected Areas Database
The MPA database, under the administration of the UNEP-CAR/RCU, is currently being updated. Its improvement and full utilization by the MPA community and marine resources managers of the wider Caribbean (scientists, educators, conservation practitioners, environmental planners and managers, and business sector) is a priority activity for CaMPAM. The database was already re-structured and dozens of new fields were added to capture a wider array of data and provide a more complete profile of each MPA. The database structure was submitted to the review of several regional experts and is currently been re-populated. The database is unique and more comprehensive that any other of its kind, including over 300 sites. When completed it will be an invaluable tool for MPA managers, practitioners, governments and donors, who could also use it in the assessment of MPA management effectiveness and needs. While the database is being populated and is available online at http://www.cep.unep.org/caribbeanmpa , it will require sustained management and inputs to be effective. It is structured to be maintained online by the managers themselves and with minimal inputs from UNEP-CAR/RCU. The objectives of the CaMPAM MPA database are:
- Incorporate the best available information from the most reliable sources on the identity (category, geographic ad biogeographic location and extension, area) biophysical characteristics (hydroclimate, geomorphologic features, and species, habitats and ecological process occurrence and significance), legal status (designation, contacts), and management (objectives, tools and programs, zoning scheme, biological and cultural resources, main issues, special expertise) of ca. 360 marine protected areas throughout the wider Caribbean or Tropical Northwestern Atlantic Coastal Biogeographic Province (from S Florida to French Guiana).
- Develop new products (maps, summary results, reports, news) to be disseminated via CaMPAM list server and to specific targets (government, academia, conservation, business sector, donors).
- Create a web-based database where resource planners, scholars, and the business sector can find high quality information of ca. 360 MPAs and link with similar databases (sites, national and global).
- Develop permanent mechanisms for the periodic updating and improvement of the MPA database.
For more information visit http://gcfi.org/campam/CaMPAM.htm
Resources for MPA Managers
- 'Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas', Edited and coordinated by Graeme Kelleher, Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 3
- 'Fully-protected marine reserves: a guide' by Callum M. Roberts and Julie P. Hawkins, 2000
- 'Marine and Coastal Protected Areas - A Guide for Planners and Managers' by Rodney V. Salm, John R.Clark with Erkki Siirila, 3rd ed., 2000
- 'Effective Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas: A Solution for Survival' by The Coral Reef Alliance
- Library of the Marine Protected Areas of the United States
- Marine publications on The World Conservation Union(IUCN) and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Website.