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Marine Protected Area (MPA) training: sharing the benefits of over 10 years’ experience

Case Study 2019

Marine Protected Area (MPA) training: sharing the benefits of over 10 years’ experience

Image: A photo of MPA training taking place in KuwaitFor over 10 years, JNCC has been actively involved in providing scientific advice to the governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in support of the UK Government’s vision of ensuring clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse and sustainable oceans and seas. From this experience, we have gained incomparable expertise in the five stages in the lifecycle of an MPA, from selection and designation; to setting objectives; identifying and managing threats; monitoring; and assessment.

JNCC is passionate in sharing this expertise as widely as possible and, in collaboration with other organisations, we have developed training courses which bring to life the core principles that underpin a successful MPA approach.


Our training approach

 JNCC has worked with Cefas to deliver MPA training for the Environment Public Authority in Kuwait. In addition, JNCC has also delivered training to the Chilean Embassy for the Environment. We have a comprehensive suite of materials which we customise to meet the needs of each audience, and we continually update them to ensure they reflect the latest experiences around the world in MPA implementation. We use a combination of interactive exercises such as stakeholder influence-interest mapping and MPA network development scenarios, as well as core training time, to ensure learning outcomes are most effectively achieved. 

Whilst our courses are tailored to suit user needs, a broad-level full course would cover the following areas, bringing to bear our experience and latest developments in each one:

  • MPAs as marine environmental protection tools
  • Principles underpinning the development of MPA networks and how they can be applied to participants’ own waters
  • Creating the backbone of an MPA strategy and implementation plan, for discussion with national decision makers
  • Setting conservation objectives
  • Managing MPAs to deliver conservation outcomes
  • Developing approaches to monitoring the condition of MPAs
  • Assessing effectiveness of MPAs.


We hope that these courses are just the first step in a longer process of collaborative working with participants.


Further work

 JNCC also runs and participates in technical workshops to share knowledge with international partners. Moving forward, we are looking for further opportunities to share our expertise and experience with countries across the globe.


Links to additional material:

Chaniotis, P., Cioffi, B., Farmer, R., Cornthwaite, A., Flavell, B. & Carr, H. 2018. Developing an ecologically-coherent and well-managed Marine Protected Area network in the United Kingdom: 10 years of reflection from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Biodiversity, DOI: 10.1080/14888386.2018.1467791


Team:  Marine Ecosystems

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