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Delivering technical assistance on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Maldives

The Republic of Maldives is known for its rich marine environment, home to habitats including mangrove, seagrasses and coral reefs. These habitats are integral to Maldives’ two major industries of fisheries and tourism, and provide food security, employment, foreign income, and recreation.

The Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP) has been invited to collaborate with the Government of the Maldives to explore opportunities to support effective management of their marine environment. The partnership is providing demand-led technical assistance to provide support for the Maldives Marine Protected Area (MPA) network, with an emphasis on improving governance and stewardship, and alleviating poverty through supporting jobs in sustainable tourism.

Introduction

Working in partnership with the Maldives Government, the OCPP will be undertaking a number of activities including Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) assessments, stakeholder mapping and technical assistance in furthering Marine Protected Area (MPA) compliance, monitoring and enforcement strategies. Details of activities will be listed below as they develop.

The OCPP work in the Maldives is being supported in the UK by experts from JNCC, the Marine Management Organisation and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture (Cefas). If you have any questions about this work, please get in touch.

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Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME)

There are a number of MPAs in the Maldives, including officially designated sites, informal protected areas, and areas covered by fisheries' measures. To better understand how these protected areas function, Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) assessments can be undertaken to help MPA managers understand how well the MPA is being managed.

 

What is a PAME assessment?

Once a MPA has been designated and a management plan developed, it is important to understand whether the management actions are working and achieving what they set out to do. A PAME assessment helps to measure and understand the impact of management actions on the MPA’s values, and tracks progress towards achievement of the MPA’s goals and objectives. The results of a PAME evaluation will help MPA managers to document achievements, and identify and set new priorities to improve future management and enable effective resource allocation, as part of an adaptive management approach.

Additionally, a PAME assessment can help to build support and trust by sharing information about management achievements with the community and other stakeholders. International reporting on the management of protected areas is also becoming increasingly common. For example, PAME is embedded within the Convention on Biological Diversity and contracting parties are required to report on it. 

A PAME assessment is generally achieved by the assessment of a series of criteria (represented by carefully selected indicators) against agreed objectives or standards. Further details about PAME and examples of frameworks used for assessing management effectiveness can be viewed in Hockings et al. (2006) Evaluating Effectiveness: A Framework for Assessing Management Effectiveness of Protected Areas.

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Ocean Country Partnership Programme

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