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The Swedish approach to MPA Network Design & Management

The Swedish approach to MPA Network Design & Management
Framework and step-by-step guidance.

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This document contains a Framework and step-by-step guid­ance to support the design and management of Marine Pro­tected Area Networks.

The Framework is designed to support the development of a more ecologically representative, better-connected, and more functional network of effectively managed marine protected areas (MPAs) in Sweden. As such, the Framework also enables the evaluation of this Network. The Framework incorporates principles for how the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, together with relevant coastal Country Admin­istrative Boards (CABs), can work strategically with marine pro­tection using an integrated approach. The Framework helps define clear objectives aimed to achieve ecological represent­ativity, functionality, and effectiveness of the MPA Network. It is accompanied by step-by-step guidance for both designing and managing marine protected areas, and transparently lays out the main assumptions behind this guidance. It can also be of great help to Sweden in meeting the potential future am­bition of protecting at least 30% of marine waters by 2030, of which 10% should be strictly protected.

Framework structure.

The Framework and the guidance are applied in two Regional Plans, developed by representatives of the relevant CABs. The implementation of the Regional Plans will help Sweden ful­fill its national and international commitments to ecologically representative, well-connected, and functional networks of marine protected areas.

The Framework acts as a reference for professionals working with marine protected areas in Sweden on the national level, the regional level, and the county level. It has been primarily developed to support the work of the CABs and the Swed­ish Agency for Marine and Water Management, but also the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and other insti­tutes and universities. It also serves as an example of how the Conservation Standards (CS) can be applied to the context of MPA Networks on a national, regional, and local level. Prac­titioners are encouraged to freely adapt this framework to fit other contexts.

Step-by-step guidance.

The Framework and the step-by-step guidance can be used for the design and management of a single MPA or a set of MPAs, of a regional or national MPA Network, and potentially even of an international network. In this document, the Framework is described primarily on a regional level, with the aim of creating distinct regional MPA Networks. Some components, however, are the same for all regions in Sweden.

This document only represents a first attempt at a framework with the definitions, guiding principles, and methodology needed to guide MPA Network Design & Management. It will be refined over time, as it is put into practice and as learning is generated about what works and what does not.

In Swedish

Swedish version: Ramverk för marint områdesskydd.

Published: 2021-10-06