The recent 20-year economic development drive has brought Guangdong prosperity as well as great damage to the coastal ecosystem, said Mr.Meng, who earned his Masters degree of public administration from Sun Yat-Sen University. The Pew Fellowship will help me to extend the network of marine protected areas along the coast of Guangdong Province, to increase public and political commitment to marine conservation in China, and to professionally train staff of the MPAs so they can be more effective.
In 2002, recognizing the importance of creating an organized system for marine protection, the Guangdong provincial government created the General Management Office for Ocean and Fishery Natural Preserves, of which Mr. Meng was appointed Director in 2003. Since then, under Mr. Mengs leadership, 35 MPAs were created in the region. Although MPAs should ideally serve as strong management tools that protect marine resources and prevent further ecosystem damage, Mr. Meng explained that the MPAs have been running in low efficiency, in part because only a few of the 400 MPA employees in Guangdong are professionally trained in managing MPAs. This is a vital restricting challenge, he said.
Supported by his Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, Mr. Meng plans to design and implement an additional 15 to 20 MPAs in Guangdong Province, and organize professional trainings for MPA staff. These strong steps will help ensure that an even more sweeping marine zone can be effectively managed. Mr. Meng will also use his Fellowship to set up an information center related to marine conservation and to launch publicity campaigns on marine conservation issues.
At present, there is no easy channel through which those concerned with marine conservation in China can get information or get involved
|Contact: Kathryn Cervino|
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science