BALANCING AREA AND EFFECTIVENESS: MPA EXPANSION VS. MANAGEMENT ENFORCEMENT IN MEETING GLOBAL CONSERVATION TARGETS
Protected area coverage has expanded rapidly in recent decades, yet there has been considerable debate surrounding the ability of protected areas to conserve biodiversity through establishment alone. While protected areas set geographical boundaries, enforcement of the laws and regulations within them is a fundamental driver of user compliance and reserve success, which highlights the importance of active management. However, non-compliance is widespread and threatens the objectives and benefits which protected areas are intended to provide. This is particularly true in marine environments, which have experienced an estimated 513% expansion since 1990 but have documented continued shortfalls in management and illegal resource extraction. With international targets (i.e. Aichi Target 11) calling for large increases in marine protected area (MPA) coverage, a critical question arises: to achieve maximum conservation benefits are limited funds best spent on expanding the current MPA network or managing existing MPAs to a higher degree? Here, we explore this question in no-take MPAs by modelling fisheries and conservation benefits in a non-spatially distributed, unconstrained system. We then apply this model to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to retrospectively analyse the 2004 re-zoning expansion and its effectiveness in protecting the commercially and ecologically valuable species, the coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus).
Kuempel, C. D., University of Queensland, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bode, M., University of Melbourne, Australia, email@example.com
Adams, V. M., University of Queensland, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Possingham, H. P., University of Queensland, Australia, email@example.com
Location: 302 A/B
Presentation is given by student: Yes