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Marine Mammal Corridors & Critical Habitats

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Project Name Broad-scale marine spatial planning of mammal corridors & Protected Areas in Wider Caribbean & Southeast & Northeast Pacific
Region
Wider Caribbean, Southeast & Northeast Pacific Region
Time Frame
July 2010 – June 2012 (Phase 1)
Direct Benefits  Strengthen Marine Mammals Protected Areas networks; conservation of biodiversity of endangered species; income generation through ecotourism, enhanced transboundary governance & in-country capacity in ocean management.

 

The marine mammal fauna of the Southeast and Northeast Pacific and Wider Caribbean Region is diverse with 32 species of marine mammals, which have significant ecological, aesthetic and economic value to the countries and territories of the regions. For many of these species, these tropical waters serve as primary habitats for feeding, mating and calving. They also serve as important corridors ‘stop-over points’ connecting habitats in distant waters via long-ranging north-south migration routes in both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Healthy marine ecosystems are however a prerequisite for their function as viable mammal habitats and corridors. Establishment of marine protected area networks embedded in wider marine spatial planning systems can help reduce current human impacts on marine mammals such as fisheries (direct and indirect mortality), pollution, noise and habitat degradation. With climate change impacting food-webs, ecosystem productivity, currents and connectivity, the need is ever greater to address these different stressors via comprehensive and integrated ecosystem-based management.

The project will assist countries develop and apply cross-sectoral ecosystem approaches to management of marine mammals. Initial activities include mapping of critical mammal habitats and regional-scale migration routes, inlcluding plus socio- economic information on human activities to inform development of broad-scale spatial planning of marine mammal Protected Areas. The project will also assist planners and managers develop management plans for selected sites via technical guidance, training and learning exchanges, good practices on transboundary governance and equitable sharing of MPA benefits. Demonstration projects will both serve as regional platforms for training and learning-exchanges and to showcase management options, engage stakeholders and make the case for transboundary management of marine mammal migration routes.

Project Coordination Team:

The project is a collaborative effort between UNEP offices and partners. If you wish to learn more and/or become engaged in the project, key contact points are:

  • Ole Vestergaard (Project Coordinator), UNEP/DEPI, Freshwater & Marine Ecosystems Branch, Nairobi, Kenya. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, UNEP Regional Seas, Caribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Fernando Felix, Permanent Commission for the South Pacific, Guayaquil, Ecuador. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Hélène Souan, CEP, Regional Activity Center-Specially Protected areas and Wildlife Guadeloupe. Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Isabel Martinez, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Monika Thiele, UNEP Regional Office for North America, Washington, DC, USA Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Monica Borobia, Project Coordination Consultant, UNEP-Spain LifeWeb Marine Mammal Corridors Project. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For additional project information, please visit:

UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme: www.cep.unep.org
South Pacific Permanent Commission: www.corredoresmarinos.net

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