Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed accidentally every year in commercial marine fisheries. This includes globally threatened species, such as an estimated 100,000 albatrosses. This bycatch of non-target species is a common side-effect of the fishing industry. The Albatross Task Force (ATF) is the world’s first international team of seabird bycatch mitigation instructors. Since 2006, it has successfully reduced the incidental bycatch of albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds in targeted fisheries, by introducing simple and practical fishing techniques and mitigation measures.
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In the last couple of decades, the development of practices and use of tools for managing the interaction of oil and gas developments with the surrounding natural environment have been steadily improving; these are now being incorporated into decision-making processes throughout the oil and gas project lifecycle.
Whilst the Earth’s diversity of species and habitats must be preserved first and foremost for their intrinsic value, the solution (from a socio-economic perspective) lies in recognizing and valuing nature for the ecological services it provides – upon which societies and economies are built. Nature, or “Natural Capital” – biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services – must be preserved and restored as the foundation of human societies and economies.
This best practice provides practical guidance on transitioning from marine spatial planning (MSP) into plan implementation in varying ecological, socio and economic contexts.
As the guidance on biodiversity offset implementation continues to evolve, there is the potential for offsets to benefit existing protected area networks through improving connectivity between sites and across landscapes, promoting biodiversity and ecosystem service representation, contributing to national biodiversity targets and supporting sustainable development objectives.
The Global Conservation Fund (GCF), at Conservation International, finances the creation, expansion and long-term management of priority areas for conservation. Made possible by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the GCF has catalyzed more than US$ 200 million for protected area conservation. GCF investments have resulted in the creation and/or expansion of 77 protected areas, resulting in conservation of more than 80 million hectares (197 million acres) around the world.
Protected areas, and the ecosystems and biodiversity within, provide many benefits for people. This includes protecting biodiversity’s intrinsic values, but also safeguarding the benefits people gain from them, such as the provision and regulation of water sources, and the climate benefits of stored carbon. Consequently, protected areas are now acknowledged as an important component of sustainable development. It is imperative to track and monitor networks of protected areas and their surroundings to ensure sustainable management of landscapes and seascapes.