The Blue Park Award by the Marine Conservation Institute recognizes outstanding marine protected areas (MPAs), and the Blue Park criteria provide a science-based standard for marine conservation effectiveness.
Following their nomination earlier this year, three Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) won the prestigious Blue Park Award for exceptional marine wildlife conservation at the occasion of the United Nations Ocean Conference.
All coral reef-bearing and located in ICRI member countries, the winners are Apo Reef Natural Park in the Philippines, Raja Ampat Islands Marine Conservation Area in Indonesia, and Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Park in Colombia.
The three new Blue Parks have a total area of 13,834 sq. km (5,342 sq. mi.), and join a growing network of 24 awarded Blue Parks around the global ocean that have met the highest science-based standards for conservation effectiveness.
Their addition brings the Blue Park systems to a total of 1,834,171 sq. km (708,177 sq. mi) of ocean effectively protected in the waters of 20 countries.
The Blue Park Award recognizes outstanding efforts by national governments, nonprofit organizations, MPA managers, and local communities to effectively protect marine ecosystems now and for the future. The award has been given annually since its launch in 2017. To date, Blue Parks cover nearly 2 million square kilometers of ocean, spanning 20 countries. Marine Conservation Institute’s rigorous science-based criteria and an international panel of esteemed marine scientists are key to vetting and ensuring that these MPAs provide examples of the most effective marine life conservation.
Adapted from an article by the Marine Conservation Institute.