Seacology: Drafting a Management Plan for an MPA in Chile

This project will provide resources and expertise for the communities of Koldita and Luikura to develop a critical management plan for a new 12,630 acre marine protected area adjacent to Koldita Island, Chile. In exchange for Seacology funding experts to assist in drafting the plan and providing surveillance equipment, the villagers will take an active role in monitoring the reserve. Timely completion of this management plan is critical, as the communities’ management rights and the area’s protected status will be lost if they do not submit an approved plan to the Chilean government by the end of 2017.

Seacology’s goal is to ensure that the MPA remains federally protected and that the community takes a leadership role in monitoring and enforcement. Through this project, Seacology will assist the communities of Koldita and Luikura with two initiatives that will support a large marine protected area: development of a management plan, and the purchase of surveillance equipment, such as VHF radios and binoculars, to help community members monitor the area and enforce the restrictions laid out in the plan. This Management Plan will allow the communities active involvement in the design process of the plan that will regulate future activities in the protected area ensuring their conservation in the long term. Additionally, the project will support monitoring of he area against resource theft and damage by non-indigenous fishermen and salmon farmers.

Though the Chilean government requires that a management plan be approved before December, 2017 to maintain federally protected status, the government does not provide funding nor supply experts to assist the communities in this process.  The management plan will define the rules for the use of the area to preserve traditional cultural usage patterns, decision making and conflict resolution. It will define zoning of current and future uses (no-take zones, tourism, fishing, seaweed harvesting, cultural uses, restoration etc.). Seacology will fund a Fisheries Specialist and a Conservation Specialist to help the communities develop an environmental baseline to monitor the health of the marine protected area.

The management plan will be enforced through a community- based monitoring and surveillance program. The community patrols will document and prevent violations of the conservation regulations defined in the plan. We anticipate this project will result in an increase in the abundance of traditional fisheries, better water quality and increased populations of threatened and endangered species such as Chilean Austral dolphins and marine otters.

Over the last 25 years, Seacology has honed its capacity for community-based conservation and helped protect 1.35 million acres of some of the most pristine marine and terrestrial habitat. Our win-win project design helps island communities around the world meet their most critical needs while protecting the resources on which they depend. Seacology is employing its expertise in helping communities to establish conservation areas and protect their own natural resources.


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