Designing a resilient network of marine protected areas for Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea
The Nature Conservancy takes a strategic and systematic approach to conservation planning. Ecoregional assessments are used to set goals and identify geographical priorities, and Conservation Action Planning is used to develop strategic plans for conservation areas. This study demonstrates how these planning processes were applied at the seascape scale based on a case study of Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Conservation Action Planning was used to identify key threats and strategies, and systematic conservation planning (similar to that used for ecoregional assessments) was used to design a network of marine protected areas to be resilient to the threat of climate change. The design was based on an assessment of biodiversity and socio-economic values, and identified 14 Areas of Interest that meet specific conservation goals. A detailed community-based planning process is now underway with local communities that own and manage these areas to refine and implement the marine protected area network.