#Tanzania’s #ChumbeIsland wins global conservation award


(Posted 29th October 2018)


Today at the 2018 Our Ocean Conference, where representatives from nations around the world and hundreds of marine conservationists are gathered, Marine Conservation Institute announced that Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary earned a Gold Global Ocean Refuge Award. Joining a prestigious group of ten marine protected areas (MPAs) that comprise the Global Ocean Refuge System means that Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary (https://globaloceanrefuge.org/refuges/chumbe-island-coral-reef-sanctuary) meets the highest science-based standards for biodiversity protection and best practices for management and enforcement. This strongly protected blue park makes an outstanding contribution to saving marine life for future generations.

Marine Conservation Institute awards Global Ocean Refuge status to MPAs like Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary for actively protecting the world’s most valuable and biodiverse ocean habitats, sustaining marine biodiversity and increasing populations of marine life. Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary joins a growing network of Global Ocean Refuges that will contribute to reaching strong protection for 30% of the ocean’s most critical places by 2030. The Institute’s objective for the award is to bring special recognition to nations, decision makers and site managers who effectively protect their marine ecosystems and to incentivize better ocean protection worldwide.

Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary, located off the coast of Tanzania, harbors one of the most effectively managed reefs in the Western Indian Ocean and it is renowned for its rich coral diversity and the many unique and locally rare species that call it home.

Sibylle Riedmiller, Director of Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd., said, "Chumbe Island Coral Park is honored to receive The Global Ocean Refuge Award. This acknowledges that the private sector has an important role to play in the creation and financially sustainable management of Marine Protected Areas; ensuring transparent governance and best-practice scientific principles are utilized to maintain the biodiversity needed to protect our ocean ecosystems, and promoting livelihoods and food security for generations to come."

Today’s Global Ocean Refuge announcements recognize six other MPAs around the world that share many of the same characteristics of Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary. These awards bring the total number of Global Ocean Refuge award winners to ten. The award celebrates excellence in marine conservation just as the Oscars™ do for movies or Olympic medals do for sports.

MPA Country Total Area (km2) Award Level
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Bahamas 455.8 Platinum
Cape Rodney – Okakari Point Marine Reserve New Zealand 5.5 Gold
Cerbère-Banyuls Marine Nature Reserve France 6.5 Silver
Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary Tanzania 0.6 Gold
Wilsons Promontory MarineNational Park Australia 221 Platinum
Misool Private Marine Reserve Indonesia 1220 Platinum
Ilhas Selvagens Portugal 1,334.3 Gold
Total area added 3,243.6

We are extremely proud of our ten Global Ocean Refuges and their management teams. In 2018, we are adding seven new blue parks to the Global Ocean Refuge System, covering an additional 3,243.6 square kilometers (1252.4 square miles) of ocean. Each one has a strong management team, a clear plan to conserve biodiversity, and effective monitoring and enforcement efforts in place. Each Global Ocean Refuge supports healthy oceans, contributes to its local economy, and brings us closer to the global goal of protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030,” says Sarah Hameed, Director and Senior Scientist of Marine Conservation Institute.

To understand the importance of these new blue parks in the Global Ocean Refuge System, it is critical to understand that many of today’s MPAs do not protect ocean ecosystems very well: they have loose or no rules and weak or nonexistent management,” said Lance Morgan, President of Marine Conservation Institute. Morgan continued, “Sometimes called ‘paper parks’, they appear in lists of MPAs and are officially counted as MPAs but lack substance. Joining the Global Ocean Refuge System requires achieving a science-based standard that we know protects the oceans for generations to come. By recognizing, valuing, and visiting these blue parks, we encourage more countries to meet this critical standard going forward.”

Today’s winners join a prestigious list of Global Ocean Refuges including Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. These outstanding MPAs help secure lasting protection; and their recognition is inspiring other MPAs to apply for Global Ocean Refuge status. Nominations for 2019 awardees begin in January. Visit the Global Ocean Refuge System website to learn how your MPA can be evaluated for a Global Ocean Refuge award: https://globaloceanrefuge.org/refuges/criteria/

About the Global Ocean Refuge System Awards

Marine Conservation Institute launched the Global Ocean Refuge System to safeguard marine wildlife, secure critical habitats, and protect ocean health for future generations. In 2017, the first three Platinum-level Global Ocean Refuges were awarded:Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, Malpelo Fauna, and Flora Sanctuary, and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Another seven Global Ocean Refuge Awards are being announced at the 2018 Our Ocean Conference.

About Marine Conservation Institute

Marine Conservation Institute is a team of highly-experienced marine scientists and environmental policy advocates dedicated to saving ocean life for us and future generations. The organization’s goal is to help create an urgently-needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas—the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES)—as a strategic way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. To enhance marine protection efforts around the globe, Marine Conservation Institute also built the world’s most comprehensive online marine protected area database, the Atlas of Marine Protection