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The Impact of the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit: 2020 – 2023


The Marine Mammals Management Toolkit releases its 2020 – 2023 Impact Report, marking the conclusion of the EU-funded Ocean Governance project.

Since the Marine Mammal Twinning’s inception as part of the “Transatlantic MPA Project” and subsequently the EU-funded Ocean Governance Project in 2020, efforts have been implemented to develop the technical capacities of marine mammals by sharing knowledge expertise and good practices whilst providing managers with a toolkit – the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit – to understand the level of protection afforded to marine mammals in management plans. Significant efforts were also taken to establish a strong network of managers, practitioners, experts, and stakeholders to share lessons learnt and exchange knowledge through dedicated workshops, dissemination at international events, and peer-to-peer learning. Through the support of the Twinning’s Partners and collaborators, major milestones have been achieved for the benefit of managers and marine mammals.

The Marine Mammal Twinning partners at the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit Partner’s Workshop in May 2022, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The Toolkit in Numbers

Since 2020, the Marine Mammal Twinning has undertaken numerous activities to strengthen the Toolkit, disseminate its resources, and to support managers, policy makers and practitioners in its application, including the hosting of regional webinars, development of new, and updating existing, components of the toolkit, and maintaining building a strong regional and international presence at technical events, meetings, and workshops. The Twinning, working alongside many partners and collaborators, has also supported regional and local networks through technical support and promoted the toolkit across a range of platforms, from the Toolkit’s website to social media and other media channels:

The Self-Assessment Tool

Since its launch, the SAT has been utilised by over 25 ABMTs, MPAs or Partners to assess, re-evaluate, or to plan for the development of, a management plan for the effective conservation of marine mammals:

By creating a peer network to aid other MPA managers, the Twinning continually supported and engaged with twinning Partners, key collaborators, and managers, to support the application of the Toolkit, and namely the Self-Assessment Tool. As a result, for these efforts, the Toolkit and Self-Assessment Tool have been widely applied across a range of protected areas, scenarios, and conservation landscapes – all with the common goal of improving management effectiveness and supporting managers. Through its application, multiple successes have been recorded and shared with the Twinning:

The Final Partner's Workshop 2023

In October 2023, the Marine Mammal Twinning hosted its final Partner’s Workshop in collaboration with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (MA, USA). As part of the Workshop, a summary video was produced that captured the rich discussions and value of the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit from the Partner’s perspective:

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"I am not a marine mammal expert, so being able to be involved with the Marine Mammal Twinning and with other managers of Marine Protected Areas has been a tremendous benefit for me [and for the effective management of marine mammals in Bermuda’s EEZ]”

The toolkit has successfully empowered managers to address threats and activities within their protected areas whilst subsequently raising the awareness around the threats facing marine mammals, the possible solutions to address these and the importance of evaluating management plans to improve management actions. Showcased on a range of levels, from international to regional and local, the Twinning connected managers for a collective purpose and has provided a cohesive resource that has, and will continue, to enable local-level action for the benefit of marine mammals and people, as well as unlocking the ability of Nations to achieve national commitments and international targets, including the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

The Marine mammal Twinning would like to express its gratitude to the Twinning Partners, collaborators and dedicated individuals for the development, dissemination, and support to the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit.

The Marine Mammals Management Toolkit will continue to be supported, updated and disseminated beyond 2023 due to its vital role for not only managers and practitioners, but as a mechanism for countries to implement their international commitments including the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

For instance, the toolkit was presented at the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on migratory Species (CMS) – COP14 –  as an important tool to support the establishment and monitoring of Area-based Management Tools in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction under the BBNJ Treaty to support the implementation of Target 3 of the GBF. The event was in collaboration with the Office Français de la Biodiversité, IUCN, the Agoa Sanctuary, High Seas Alliance, The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, and the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The Toolkit will continued to be hosted on its central platform at and those interested in learning more, utilising the components of the toolkit, or require support to apply the Self-Assessment Tool, can use the “Contact Us” page to contact the Toolkit developers. 

The mechanisms for communication of the Toolkit will also change in 2024 and onwards with the Newsletter being removed and instead the utilise the Community of Practice as well as a dedicated Round of News emailing list. Both mechanisms will be used to continue to provide updates on, and opportunities in relation to, the Toolkit. If you are interested in receiving the Round of News, please contact the Toolkit here, alternatively you can sign-up to the Community of Practice here.

Why not check out ‘The Help Desk‘ for further support, including the series of online tutorial videos to guide you through the use of the Self-Assessment Tool, how to interpret your results and make informed management decisions?

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