Posted: Friday, September 15, 2023. 5:33 am CST.
By Horace Palacio: In a pivotal collaboration aimed at enhancing marine conservation, the United Kingdom’s Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have partnered with the Government of Belize (GOB) on a project titled “Achieving Fair and Effective Marine Protected and Conserved Areas through the IUCN Green List.”
The OCPP, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation (MBECA) and the Belize Fisheries Department (BFiD), facilitated a transformative five-day workshop in Belize. This workshop underscored the importance of the Green Listing of marine protected areas (MPAs), central to Belize’s marine conservation objectives.
Under the auspices of the Belize Blue Bond Agreement, the GOB has made an ambitious commitment to apply for the Green List Programme for a minimum of three marine protected areas by the year 2027. The OCPP expressed its excitement about this partnership, emphasizing its dedication to supporting the GOB’s goals and strengthening its ties with the IUCN.
This workshop aimed to acquaint MPA management representatives with the intricacies of the IUCN Green List Programme. It covered the Standard Criteria and indicators and introduced the Green List benchmarking tool. This tool played a central role during the workshop as attendees collectively performed a self-assessment of their site’s performance against the Green List Standard, which encompasses 4 components, 17 criteria, and 50 indicators. For a site to be considered for the Green List certification, it must meet every adapted indicator.
The OCPP is a sterling initiative by the UK Government, committed to providing technical expertise to the Government of Belize across areas such as marine biodiversity, marine pollution, and sustainable seafood. The overarching aim is to foster positive impacts on coastal communities that heavily depend on the vitality of marine ecosystems.
The IUCN, revered worldwide as a hub of nature conservation mavens, is at the forefront of the certification program of the IUCN Green List Standard for Protected and Conserved Areas. The Green List stands out as a novel global benchmark, aiming to motivate enhanced performance in conservation. Sites involved in the Green List are subjected to rigorous assessments to ascertain their compliance with set criteria, which ultimately leads to tangible conservation results.
This burgeoning partnership signifies an enduring commitment to ensuring that Belize’s marine conservation aspirations are realized and maintained in the long run.
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