How will we manage the MPA?

achievING our objectives

Common octopus - Jude Brown
Common octopus - Jude Brown

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This section describes the actions we will take to achieve the MPA’s objectives

Boatswainbird Island - Nicola Weber
Boatswainbird Island - Nicola Weber

This involves not only preventing or restricting damaging activities that threaten the MPA but also restoring, improving, researching and sharing Ascension’s amazing marine environment.

The MPA is going to be around forever and it will be a long journey to achieve everything we want. In the first five years covered by this plan, we have focused on the actions that will achieve the greatest positive change to the MPA within our resources (more detail of how we determined this is given in the MPA Showing our Workings document). This means there are no actions linked to substantial threats such as ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures because we simply don’t have the management tools to address them. It also means ambitious aspirations to develop Ascension as a global science hub will have to be achieved in stages and the futuristic submarine laboratory complex will have to wait until the next phase.

Green turtle on Pan Am Beach - Matt Wall

The designation of the MPA was underpinned by sound science and this evidence-based approach is carried forward into the management of the site. Where possible we have designed management actions based on existing data and experience of what will be effective. However, we know we don’t have all the answers from the start so targets, monitoring and refinement of our management will be essential. How we will do this is described in the Monitoring and Evaluation section.

The actions are arranged so that they can be filtered to show those that contribute to achieving different strategic or operational objectives, the ones that counter specific threats to the MPA and those actions that help protect particular species and habitats. Alternatively, you can choose to see them all and realise how busy we will be for the next five years.

Action table

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Operational objective

Description

Establish a monitoring and evaluation regime such that all actions are monitored and outcome evaluation is built into annual workplans.

Outcomes

Adaptive management refines and improves management over time and ensures it is evidence-based and responsive to changing conditions.

Targets

Year 1: Implementation of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Strategy, with monitoring linked to all objectives and management actions initiated.

Year 5: Completed cycles of monitoring, evaluation and management refinement demonstrate effective adaptive approach in place.

Strategic objectives delivered

4. To achieve effective governance and management of the MPA that is transparent and underpinned by sustainable financial and human resources

Operational objectives delivered

4b. Management actions are designed to deliver the MPA objectives, based on the best available information and subject to regular monitoring and review.

Priority

High

Description

Establish robust data management system to collate information from biological, socio-economic and enforcement monitoring

Outcomes

Databases required to collate and curate essential information are fit-for-purpose, adequately secure and have appropriate backup protocols in place. Procedures in place for dealing with sensitive information such as illegal fisheries compliance intelligence.

Targets

Year 1: Deficiencies in data management capacity and procedures identified.

Year 5: Robust data management processes in place and being followed by all MPA staff and collaborators. Data storage is secure

Strategic objectives delivered

4. To achieve effective governance and management of the MPA that is transparent and underpinned by sustainable financial and human resources

Operational objectives delivered

4b. Management actions are designed to deliver the MPA objectives, based on the best available information and subject to regular monitoring and review.

Priority

Medium

Description

Build on governance structures established at MPA designation to ensure there is strong leadership, accountability and involvement of the island community and other key stakeholders in decision making.

Outcomes

MPA governance structure and decision-making processes are clear and involve the island community, scientific experts and other stakeholders.

Targets

Year 1: MPA governance arrangements have been agreed by the Ascension Island Council. Scientific Advisory Committee established.

Year 5: Governance structures are established and demonstrated input into annual setting of workplans and 5 year review of Management Plan.

Threats addressed

Low public support for the MPA and marine conservation

Strategic objectives delivered

4. To achieve effective governance and management of the MPA that is transparent and underpinned by sustainable financial and human resources

Operational objectives delivered

4b. Management actions are designed to deliver the MPA objectives, based on the best available information and subject to regular monitoring and review.

4c. The Ascension Island community is effectively engaged in MPA governance structures and benefits equitably from management decisions.

Priority

High