MARINE PROTECTED AREAS NETWORK DESIGN: CONSERVATION STRATEGY FOR THE COLOMBIAN NORTHERN CONTINENTAL CARIBBEAN
Ecological representative marine protected areas (MPA) establishment is an important management tool for natural marine and coastal resources use regulation and biodiversity protection. Through a systematized selection process using MARXAN decision support system (DSS), the first Colombian Northern Caribbean MPA network was designed. Fifty-one conservation targets at different biological organization levels (ecosystems, communities and species) as well as archeological, historical, and indigenous cultural important sites were identified based on national expert knowledge. Target and coastal systems (Tayrona, Palomino, and Guajira) quantitative conservation goals were established using four criteria: type, abundance, natural condition, and vulnerability. Conservation goals ranged between ≤ 10, 30, 60, and 100%. A portfolio with 63 priority conservation sites, equivalent to an area of 129964 ha, was identified. Based on their high representativeness, habitat heterogeneity, naturalness, and vulnerable life stages 32 sites (71971 ha) were selected above all to be included in the MPA network. Follow up detailed “planning site” is now required to identify boundaries, short and middle time conservation strategies and adequate national category management type proposal. Priority conservation sites adjacent to existing protected areas are suggested as extendable areas over the submerged boundaries.
Marine protected areas network; MARXAN; Conservation planning; Ecological criteria; Colombian Caribbean
- There are currently no refbacks.