Global leaders in building effective marine protected areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs), like national parks on land, set aside dedicated areas for conservation to help the ocean thrive, provide jobs, protect coral reefs, rejuvenate marine wildlife & habitats, and feed millions of people. MPAs are one of the most important conservation tools we have.

Yet, the reality is that nearly 60% of MPAs around the world lack the necessary resources, training, and enforcement capacity to successfully protect marine species.

Over the last 20 years, WildAid’s comprehensive approach to MPA enforcement has been proven to help build successful MPAs. After partnering with WildAid, the Galapagos National Park and Misool Marine Reserve in Indonesia, have seen dramatic improvements in revitalizing coral reefs, shark populations, mantas, nesting sea turtles, whales, and important commercial fisheries.

  • 3x
    Well-enforced MPAs achieve almost 3x greater conservation benefits.
  • 5x
    For every ranger we train, we see an average of 5x amplification when they share their training with the rest of their team or help train other rangers in the region.
  • 8500+
    WildAid has protected 8,500+ marine species through our work.

Making the promise of MPAs real

WildAid is working to make the promise of MPAs real. We pioneered a program for building effective marine enforcement that can be customized for specific local government and NGO partner needs and scaled to include hundreds of project sites. The places we work are extraordinary, home to fishers and their communities who depend on the oceans for food and livelihoods, as well as important marine habitat, nursery and spawning grounds, nesting beaches, and coral reefs. We currently have active projects in the Galapagos Islands, coastal Ecuador, Palau, Indonesia, and Malaysia.  The hallmark feature of our strategy lies in a comprehensive Marine Protection System consisting of the following elements:

  • Surveillance and Enforcement: Sites need surveillance systems (such as cameras and radar) patrol resources (such as boats) to find and apprehend poachers. We tailor each system design, based on local needs.
  • Training and Mentorship: Staff must understand the system, their responsibilities within it, and how to operate and maintain tools. We provide training, mentorship, and professional development.
  • Policies and Consequences: We work with lawyers, judges, and governments to strengthen laws and ensure meaningful penalties for illegal activities.
  • Community Engagement: We train rangers to educate their communities, design awareness campaigns to foster understanding and buy-in, and support community-based management strategies.
  • Consistent Funding: We develop long-term budgets that streamline operating costs, and create new revenue streams to ensure the protection system has long-term funding.

Our approach stops illegal fishing, enforces regulations, allows wildlife recovery, and encourages positive economic opportunity for communities. After working with WildAid, our sites will have measurable improvement in their Marine Protection System and can act as regional leaders, exemplifying successful marine conservation, so that more MPAs can fulfill their conservation potential and allow ocean wildlife to recover and flourish.

Contact us to learn more about our work or to discuss partnership opportunities.

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