„3MPA – Manila’s Master in the Management of Protected Areas“
The universities of Manila and Klagenfurt jointly develop degree programme
„An exciting initiative”, states Prof. Malou McGlone of the University of the Philippines in Manila. Under her direction, the university is preparing a Master’s degree programme for the Management of Marine Protected Areas. The programme is being developed in close collaboration with Klagenfurt University and the University of Connecticut. The American development agency USAID is funding the development of the concept and the preparation of the courses. The intended participants in this international degree programme are managers of protected areas in South East Asia, in particular from the Coral Triangle Region. The training programme is due to commence in June 2013, and the venture will be supported by a number of international institutions.
„Centre of the centre of biodiversity“. The Philippines represents an ideal location for a study programme of this kind. The 7107 islands of this archipelago feature exceptional biodiversity, the shelf areas between the islands are regarded as laboratories of evolution. The first national park in the Philipines was established as early as 1927. Today, there are more than one hundred marine reserves, the majority of which are managed by the Municipalities. In addition to the practical experiences gained from working in these protected areas, the research carried out by the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philipines will provide an important basis for the degree programme.
„Programme tailored to the region and its requirements“. USAID views this programme as a long-term investment in the system of protected areas in South East Asia. The programme is designed to provide an outstanding and internationally recognised education, which will be a „self-sustaining, regionally and functionally adapted version of the successful Klagenfurt Programme“. A series of workshops, currently being held, will serve to develop teaching contents, modules and pedagogical approaches. One workshop participant framed the purpose of the programme in these words:“ Protected areas are complex socio-cultural systems, but the managers know more about fish than about fishermen.“
„There is no need to reinvent the wheel“, Prof. Bodenhöfer confirms. As the Academic Director of the University Certificate Programme „Management of Protected Areas“ at Klagenfurt University, he recognises many opportunities for drawing upon the experience gained from the successful Klagenfurt model. The members of Klagenfurt University are delighted about this project and the opportunity for collaboration. It highlights the fact that the Management of Protected Areas represents a global challenge and shows that Klagenfurt is increasingly becoming an important hub in the international network of education and research.