MAPCO Action: A Strategy For The Conservation And Sustainable Use Of Biodiversity And Ecosystem Services Of Mangroves And Seagrasses In The Colombian Caribbean | POGO

MAPCO Action: A Strategy For The Conservation And Sustainable Use Of Biodiversity And Ecosystem Services Of Mangroves And Seagrasses In The Colombian Caribbean

Submitted by INVEMAR

 

Authors: Paula Cristina Sierra-Correa, Angela Cecilia Lopez-Rodriguez, Francisco A. Arias-Isaza

 

The strengthening and consolidation of conservation initiatives in situ is given by the importance and need for the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In this respect, marine and coastal wetlands, such as mangroves and seagrasses, provide a multitude of services such as food safety, water purification, climate and flood regulation, coastal protection. They also hold great value for local communities and the development of their productive initiatives such as artisanal fishing and ecotourism.

 

Photo 1. Mangrove ecosystem services. Photo: European Union MAPCO Project.

 

This is the focus of the “Mangroves, seagrasses, and local communities: Development and exchange of experiences related to the integral management of biodiversity and its services in the Caribbean region - MAPCO” initiative, co-financed by the European Union, the Marine and Coastal Research Institute – INVEMAR –also in charge of its coordination-, and by Fundación Natura.

 

MAPCO is framed by international commitments (Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi Goals and Sustainable Development Goals) and national goals such as the strengthening of the Marine Protected Areas Subsystem (SAMP); specifically in relation to increasing the representativeness of ecosystems within marine protected areas (MPAs), addressing threats such as climate change, and promoting alternatives to improve the livelihoods of local communities.

 

It has been implemented in areas with a presence of mangroves and seagrasses in the Colombian Caribbean, in current or potential MPAs. Its objectives are as follows:

Figure 1. Areas of MAPCO Action intervention. Source: INVEMAR Information Services Laboratory

  • Create technical and scientific knowledge about mangrove and seagrass ecosystems that make it possible to design and implement tools to improve their conservation status, strengthen their governance, and formulate strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
  • Implement management plans for marine protected areas (MPAs) contributing to the sustainable use of the goods and services they provide, the improvement of livelihoods and the food security and sovereignty of local communities.
  • Encourage changes in the behavior of the local, sub-national, national and regional community towards mangrove and seagrass ecosystems that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of their biodiversity.
  • Train local communities, environmental authorities, decision makers and scientific researchers on marine and coastal issues, in the use of information and biodiversity management tools, increasing the exchange of experiences, collaboration and learning between projects in the Caribbean region.

 

The following are some of its achievements:

 

  • Increased representativeness of seagrass ecosystem within protected areas (with the new MPA in La Guajira, 12,553.07 ha of seagrasses have been protected increasing their representativeness to 20%). Video route of declaration of marine protected areas https://youtu.be/VPiK_rw71jo;
  • Blue carbon pilot in mangroves, with restoration initiatives in intervened or degraded areas and the creation of new knowledge. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af1U7gMNo7Q.
  • Progress in studies on the potential of carbon stock in live seagrasses and their sediments, which will subsequently determine the feasibility of them entering the carbon market. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DhyA7nj-Is.
  • Improvement of livelihoods of local communities, working on business plans for ecotourism activities, payment scheme for environmental services in mangroves, and fishing agreements.

 

Photo 2. Initial actions of the Blue Carbon pilot. Photo: MAPCO Action File

  • Design and implementation of a communications strategy to raise awareness among the different actors about sustainable use and conservation, through adequate dissemination.
  • More than 15 communities including mangrove workers, artisanal fishermen, and tourism service providers recognize the importance of mangroves in protected areas.
  • Capacity building for local communities, environmental authorities, decision makers and scientific researchers on marine and coastal issues, in the use of information and biodiversity management tools, increasing the exchange of experiences, collaboration and learning between projects implemented in the Wider Caribbean region.
  • 216 professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean have been trained in climate change, blue carbon, ecosystem-based adaptation, marine protected areas and information tools, by INVEMAR with Regional Training Center for Latin America of the Ocean Teacher Global Academy - OTGA, of IODE-IOC-UNESCO.

 

These achievements have made it possible to promote the participation of local communities, depending on mangrove and seagrass ecosystem services.

Website hosted & developed by VLIZ
Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean is a charitable incorporated organisation registered and regulated by the Charity Commission of England and Wales, No 1171692