Mark Spalding works for The Nature Conservancy, and also has a strong academic leaning. He is based at the University of Siena, Italy, and is a research fellow in the University of Cambridge.
Mark’s work has focuses on building the big picture in marine conservation. He has written numerous papers, as well as a number of widely cited Atlases and other books that have helped researchers around the world to gain a clearer view of this same big picture. Marine protected areas have always been an area of particular interest, and Mark is also the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of the British Indian Ocean Territory, which is also one of the largest strictly protected ocean wilderness areas on the planet. Each square kilometre of coral reef in the British Indian Ocean Territory has six times more fish, by weight, than even the next best location in the Indian Ocean. In some ways a measure of what we’ve lost everywhere else, but also a wonderful metric of what we can hope for.
Talk abstract: Marine protected areas have become one of the fastest growing conservation interventions on the planet. The UK, especially through its overseas territories, is a world leader. It is not only declaring extensive areas of the ocean as protected. It is also developing and using approaches which will transform such places from unknown and ungovernable ‘paper parks’ to carefully managed, healthy spaces, generating rich benefits and welcomed by local communities.
Talk title: A blue sort of green: the surge in marine protection