Marine Protection Plan
The Bahamas Protected project (A collaborative effort between The Nature Conservancy, Bahamas National Trust & Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation) submitted their Marine Protection Plan for expanding The Bahamas Marine Protected Areas Network to the Government of The Bahamas! BPAF is committed to the aims of the Project. These are:
- Design a new set of MPAs so that the Bahamas has at least 20% of its marine habitat protected by 2020.
- Increase the effective management of PAs within the MPA Network.
- Increase sustainable funding dedicated to PA management.
- Strengthen public awareness and support for MPAs.
Marine Protected Areas Valuation
Traditional approaches to Marine Protected Area management focus on ecological considerations, such as a sufficient diversity and proximity of habitats. While such factors are essential for sustaining species, they may miss the societal importance of MPAs.
Increasingly, conservation practitioners, governments, and other stakeholders are also considering the benefits that nature provides to people, or ‘ecosystem services.’ Diverse, functioning ecosystems provide myriad benefits, including supporting tourism, maintaining fisheries, protecting shorelines and sequestering carbon, that can be sustained through effective protected area management.
This Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services of Bahamian Marine Protected Areas research is part of the 3-year Bahamas Protected project – a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, the Bahamas National Trust and BREEF, with the support of Oceans 5. The Perry Institute for Marine Science also supported this work.