Letter to the Editor: On the Need for Integrated Management

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Dear MEAM:

I strongly agree with all the comments in your April-May 2011 issue on the need for integration in management of marine (and terrestrial) ecosystems. I note that this recognition was at the heart of IUCN's Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas and A Global Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (IUCN, World Bank, and GBRMPA, 1995).

The following quotes from the Guidelines illustrate this. It may be worth pointing out that this recognition was at the heart of establishing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the GBR Marine Park through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act (1975). For this reason the Act overrode conflicting, usually sectoral legislation of either state or federal governments of Australia.

  • "There are two ways of establishing MPA systems: either as many relatively small sites, each strictly protected, or as a few large multiple-use areas which contain strictly protected areas within them. To conserve biodiversity, both approaches should occur within an effective program of ecosystem management covering the marine ecosystem and the land areas that affect it."
  • "The high degree of linkage between land and adjoining sea, and the inter-connectivity of the oceans, require that MPAs be integrated into management regimes that deal with all human activities that affect marine life. Thus MPAs should be integrated with other policies for land use and use of the sea. It is also desirable for countries to make use of international agreements, notably the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention on Biological Diversity. More international support is needed for MPAs and more attempts should be made to establish MPAs on the High Seas."

Graeme Kelleher. AO.
Canberra, Australia. E-mail: graempa [at] home.netspeed.com.au

Editor's note: Graeme Kelleher edited Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas (http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/mpaguid.pdf) and A Global Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (www.earthprint.com/productfocus.php?id=IUCN93).

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