Map 02: Marine Protected Areas in the Coral Triangle
A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is described by the IUCN as a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. Well-managed MPAs can conserve biological diversity, protect fish spawning and nursery habitats, protect shorelines, serve as a platform for scientific research and ecotourism, improve food security, and enhance the quality of life in surrounding communities.MPAs are often the cornerstone of coastal and marine resource management and are considered essential strategies in integrated coastal and fisheries management.
The map above, generated in July 2012, shows the most up to date information on MPAs within the Coral Triangle.The map was created using data from the UNEP-WCMC World Database of Protected Areas (2010) and updated with the latest information from the CT Atlas' partner governments, NGOs, and communities. This map is key to monitoring the progress of protecting reefs and other marine resources. It is also essential for answering spatial questions such as what percentage of mangrove or reef is under protection.
Despite the importance of MPAs in protecting reefs, the Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle Report shows that only 16 percent of the region's coral reefs are inside MPAs, which is substantially lower than the global average of 28 percent. At the country level, reef coverage is also low.
The estimated area of reef protected by country in the Coral Triangle Source: UNEP-WCMC (2010) Global Distribution of Coral Reefs and MPA data compiled by the Coral Triangle Atlas
up to July 2012
Note: Some limitations in this dataset are that MPAs are not defined equally, zoning or the presence of no-take zones
are not always recorded, and management effectiveness is not measured.
Having the latest and best information on MPAs is crucial in sustaining the Coral Triangle and depends on the collaboration of organizations who are working on the ground. If you want to contribute updated data of your MPAs to the CT Atlas, please contact Annick Cros at email@example.com.
Want to know more about MPAs in the Coral Triangle?
To know more about the importance of marine the protected areas in the Coral Triangle, download the briefing paper Improving the Design and Management Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas and Networks in the Coral Triangle.
Do you need more maps on the Coral Triangle?
Follow this link to download a high-resolution version of this map from the CT Atlas website
To see more maps, view the CT Atlas Map Gallery online
To generate your own map, check out the CT Atlas interactive map