LT&C Partner, the Marine Conservation Institute announced the 2021 Blue Parks. The following Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) received this year the most reputable marine conservation award: Parque Nacional Revillagigedo in Mexico, Parque Nacional Jardines de la Reina in Cuba, Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park & Reserve in Kenya, and Nacionalni Park Brijuni in Croatia.
In the following , Marine Conservation Institute, provides short information about their concept of “Blue Parks” (see more information on their website):
Blue Park Awards bring together the world’s best protected places in the ocean and the people who care about them.
Blue Park Awards recognize marine protected areas (MPAs) that meet science-based criteria for effective conservation.
Blue Parks are the protected areas in the ocean that effectively safeguard marine wildlife. They are located in the right places, enforce the right rules and have the right management to succeed.
Blue Parks is designed to assemble a strategic network of MPAs covering every type of ocean ecosystem. Blue Parks’ science-based criteria set high standards for MPAs worldwide. Award levels are decided by an esteemed international group of marine scientists, the Science Council.
Blue Parks aims to catalyze strong protection for at least 30% of the ecosystems in each marine biogeographic region by 2030. The recognized Blue Parks are safe havens for the world’s marine biodiversity. The Blue Park initiative builds on existing efforts to create MPAs by:
- Aligning governments’ interests with conservation. Blue Parks recognizes governments and communities with effective MPAs, encouraging the implementation of more high quality MPAs.
- Establishing clear, transparent criteria for ocean protection efforts regarding biodiversity conservation, management effectiveness, regulations, and enforcement.
- Fostering improved cooperation among nonprofit and for-profit organizations to achieve effective more marine conservation.
Marine Conservation Institute aims to safeguard marine biodiversity by assembling a strategic network of effective marine protected areas (MPAs) that includes replicating representation of all marine habitats in each biogeographic region and supports marine population persistence.
To make this vision a reality, we must improve the quality of MPAs and accelerate the implementation of MPAs. Despite the implementation of more than 11,000 MPAs around the world,
less than 3% of the ocean is strongly protected (MPAtlas.org).
These efforts are not keeping pace with the growing threats to marine life.
Blue Park Awards incentivize the implementation of more effective MPAs by awarding those that meet science-based standards for effectiveness. Governments and NGOs welcome Blue Park Awards because they attract tourists, local support, and investors, and they bring a sense of pride to political leaders, managers, and communities. Blue Park Awards support MPA efforts around the world, complementing the work of communities, leaders, conservation groups, and governments to implement MPAs and fulfill international MPA commitments.