A Regionalisation of Papua New Guinea’s Marine Environment
Papua New Guinea’s Department of Environment and Conservation is currently undertaking a national marine gap analysis to contribute towards their commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity to establish a “comprehensive, effectively managed and ecologically-representative national system of protected areas.” The gap analysis will identify conservation priorities throughout Papua New Guinea’s marine area to inform protected area planning, environmental impact assessment and other biodiversity conservation interventions.
This regionalisation of Papua New Guinea’s marine environment was developed to assist with this process. This analysis builds on previous marine regionalisations that were completed to delineate ecologically distinct areas for conservation in the Coral Triangle (Green and Mous 2008, Veron et al. 2009, 2011) and around the world (Spaulding et al. 2007).
Our regionalisation identifies five ecoregions and 21 shelf bioregions (nested within ecoregions)
in Papua New Guinea’s marine waters. These ecoregions and bioregions will be used to apply CARR principles to the national marine gap analysis for deep and shallow water habitats respectively.
While this regionalisation was based on best available information, it was a desktop exercise that relied on expert opinion regarding the biophysical characteristics of the area. Thus it will require field validation and refinement over time.
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