Human activities, on land as in the sea, have negative impacts on coastal marine ecosystems. These activities threaten the capacity of ecosystems to provide important benefits to society, production of healthy and abundant marine products, clean beaches, and the protection of coastal areas from storms and flooding, among other things. Management of resources and marine environments based on ecosystem processes is an innovative new focus in the struggle against these challenges.
Based on this focus, as opposed to conceptualizing one single aspect or resource as an isolated phenomenon, NAZCA considers conservation areas as a management tool in which the entire ecosystem is considered, including human beings as a part of the environment. In order to develop strategies for conservation area management, we have worked on two initiatives:
- Studies that indentify priority coastal marine areas for conservation and/or scientific study (gap analysis), and
- Specific studies within Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s).