Approaching Conservation Across Land and Marine Ecosystems
Within both the World Heritage Convention and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, efforts are being made to consider adjacent land and marine ecosystems as an ensemble, with core protected areas identified in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems (i.e. biodiversity conservation is not considered in terms of separate ‘land resources’ and ‘coastal and marine resources’).
An example is in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, where in 2001 the World Heritage Committee approved the addition of the Galapagos Marine Reserve to the existing (largely terrestrial) World Heritage site. The Galapagos Islands is among the World Heritage sites where a major partnership project has been underway – here involving the World Heritage Centre, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the United Nations Foundation. This partnership focuses on the control and eradication of introduced species, the most significant threat to biodiversity in those islands. Further background is provided in a listing of World Heritage sites with significant marine components
Examples of biosphere reserves in small-island settings, which include both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, are Nanji Islands (China), Seaflower (Colombia, comprising the archipelago of San Andrés-Providencia-Santa Catalina in the southwestern Caribbean), West Estonian Archipelago (Estonia), Archipelago Sea (Finland), Archipel de la Guadaloupe and Iroise (France), Boloma Bijagos (Guinea Bissau), Tuscan Islands (Italy), Far East Marine (Russian Federation), Isla de El Hierro, Lanzarote and Menorca (Spain), US Virgin Islands and Socotra Archipelago (Yemen).
Experience in a number of these sites – in such domains as conflict prevention and resolution, and the zonation of land and water areas for different purposes – provides insights useful in conservation planning and management in other small island situations.