A new Marine Protected Area in New Caledonia

4 November 2013

New Caledonia announced the creation of a Marine protected area by April 2014. The MPA will include the whole New Caledonian exclusive economic zone (1 300 000 square kilometers) and the Coral Sea. This project, which will be formalized in April 2014 at the Oceania 21 conference, will involve all Caledonians and ensure a sustainable economic development of the island.

A Management Board will be established and composed of all stakeholders (the provinces, the government, the state, sciencists, professionnals linked to the sea, the civil society and some representative of different countries of the pacific region. The aim of the MPA is to raise awareness about New Caledonia marine natural resources and to implement a sustainable development of the maritime space of New Caledonia: find the right balance between conservation and economic development.

This initiative completes the MPA set up by Australia. In 2010, New Caledonia and Australia signed an agreement to coordinate their efforts towards the management of the Coral Sea. Both countries would like to add three other states to this conservation initiative, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.