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“A Model for Other Programs Around the World” – Conservation International Statement on Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area Earning Blue Park Award at UN Oceans Conference

July 1, 2022

Arlington, VA (July 1, 2022) – Today, Conservation International’s cofounder, former CEO, and chairman of the board Peter Seligmann issued the below statement in response to the Marine Conservation Institute’s announcement that the Raja Ampat Islands Marine Conservation Area (Kawasan Konservasi Perairan Kepulauan Raja Ampat) won the prestigious gold-level Blue Park Award for exceptional marine wildlife conservation at the United Nations Ocean Conference. 

Raja Ampat joins a growing network of 24 awarded Blue Parks around the globe that have met the highest science-based standards for conservation effectiveness. An extraordinary example of a community-driven and collaboratively managed Marine Protected Area (MPA) network, the Raja Ampat MPA was designated through the Bird’s Head Seascape Initiative, a collaborative effort launched in 2004 by local Indonesian communities, the regional government and three NGOs – Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund – to protect the region’s biodiversity, address issues of illegal fishing and secure management for its marine ecosystems.

Seligmann said:

“I am humbled to see the Blue Parks Award presented to the Raja Ampat Marine Conservation Area. This recognition is an endorsement of the very foundation on which Conservation International was built: When you align with communities and support their self-determined commitments to protect their homeland and waters, you create a sustainable and unbreakable cycle in which people and biodiversity continue to thrive. That’s what has been created in this region, and it’s now a model for other programs around the world. We are so thankful to all our partners for taking this journey with us, and I’m especially proud that Konservasi Indonesia will be continuing this important work — taking further steps to ensure that coastal communities, and all people, can benefit from an ocean teeming with life.”

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About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.