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Towards effective spatial planning and management of marine protected areas

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Training Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning and Marine Protected Areas Management

21 October 2017
Zhoushan, China

The above forum was organised by the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center and the Third Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) China in collaboration with the Ocean College of the Zhejiang University.

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Forum speakers and particpants

Marine protected areas (MPAs) have increasingly become a popular means of managing marine resources and protecting the marine environment though establishing their effectiveness is often a challenge. This is especially so as MPAs are applied more in ecosystem based management and through the adoption of marine spatial planning (MSP) in many areas. Additionally, new strategies for the implementation of networks of MPAs are being adopted in response to the direct and indirect pressures posed by increasing development, human activities and climate change on the marine environment.


This workshop focused on capacity building on these thematic areas to share best practices and information, knowledge, and skills on MSP in the APEC region, enhance capacity building for the development and implementation of marine and coastal ecosystem based management, and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources in development).


More than 35 participants and representatives from the APEC and non-APEC region participated from the government, academe, research institutions as well as NGOs and postgraduate students. Besides China, other countries that attended the forum included Chile, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cameroon, Peru, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen, Eritrea, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Korea. The Malaysian delegation included MIMA, the Department of Marine Park Malaysia, and University of Malaya.

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During the course of programme

The thematic areas covered in the programme included three-fold i.e., (i) Methods and practice of MSP, (ii) Ecological environment technology support for MSP and MPA management, and (iii) Methods and practice of MPAs management. Ms. Cheryl Rita, Head of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment, MIMA discussed ‘Adopting a guiding framework on MSP: A broad-based approach based on experiences from Malaysia and the EU-FP7 MESMA Project’. She focused on the need to ensure effective planning, assessment and evaluation of the MSP tool and framework for MPAs planning and management. She also later co-Chaired Session (iii) where discussions centred on the different experiences from the APEC region focusing on MPAs management.

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Cheryl Rita, with reps from the Marine Park Department Malaysia (centre) and China APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center (left)

MIMA is privileged to be invited to contribute to its experiences on the subject areas under the APEC platform. The programme was a great opportunity for an exchange of perspectives and on extending future cooperation with like-minded institutions.   

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