Marine Protected Area Governance

Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG)


Whilst there is currently a range of guidance available on how to manage marine protected areas (MPAs), there is less guidance available that considers MPAs from a governance perspective. This perspective poses a key question – how do we combine top-down, bottom-up and market approaches for reaching and implementing decisions in order to achieve effective and equitable MPAs? It is widely accepted that all three approaches are important, but how might they be combined in different MPA contexts?

To tackle this question a new partnership amongst a group of governance experts, led by Dr Peter JS Jones (Dept of Geography, University College London), in collaboration with Dr Elizabeth De Santo, Dr Wanfei Qiu, and MPA planners and managers, was established to analyse MPA case studies and develop guidance on governing MPAs in seas under national jurisdiction. 20 MPA case study from around the world have been brought together in the preliminary phase and subjected to detailed analysis employing a new governance analysis framework, ‘deconstructing’ the complexities of MPA governance (MPAG) employing 36 incentives from five categories. The report below describes the findings of this work. It is intended to provide a foundation for further discussion and learning, employing the governance analysis framework in different contexts, and to provide a preliminary resource for MPA managers to consider how different incentives might be combined to support the governance of their MPA.

Recent developments

Next MPAG phase: global meta-analysis

The pilot phase of the marine protected area governance (MPAG) project, funded by UNEP, provided for the development and testing of an analytical framework for deconstructing governance in any given MPA. Funds are now being sought to apply this MPA governance analytical framework to a larger number of MPA case studies around the world, the target being 200 case studies. This qualitative meta-analysis will assess the effectiveness of MPA governance institutions in achieving biodiversity and resource conservation objectives, with the aim of analysing the different combinations of incentives that are effective in particular contexts, providing for the identification of 'good practice' in MPA governance, including the potential for the transferability of good practice to other MPAs. This will provide a vital resource for MPA managers as well as providing for comparisons of MPA effectiveness with the governance approach employed. Please contact Dr Peter JS Jones if you have any sources of or suggestions for such funding.

Page last modified on 28 jul 14 10:03