Marine Protected Area Governance

Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG)

Book derived from this project

This project and the related book - Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity - addresses some important challenges related to the effective and equitable governance of marine protected areas (MPAs). These challenges are explored through a study of 20 MPA case studies from around the world. A novel governance analysis framework is employed to address some key questions: How can top-down and bottom-up approaches to MPA governance be combined? What does this mean, in reality, in different contexts? How can we develop and implement governance approaches that are both effective in achieving conservation objectives and equitable in fairly sharing associated costs and benefits?

This project and the book explore the many issues that these questions raise, as well as exploring options for addressing them. A key theme is that MPA governance needs to combine people, state and market approaches, rather than being based on one approach and its related ideals. Building on a critique of the governance analysis framework developed for common-pool resources, the book puts forward a more holistic and less prescriptive framework for deconstructing and analyzing the governance of MPAs. This inter-disciplinary analysis is aimed at supporting the development of MPA governance approaches that build social-ecological resilience through both institutional and biological diversity. It will also make a significant contribution to wider debates on natural resource governance, as it poses some critical questions for contemporary approaches to related research and offers an alternative theoretical and empirical approach.

This project involves 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, in association with and initial funding from UNEP. It was established to analyse MPA case studies and develop guidance on governing MPAs in seas under national jurisdiction. 20 MPA case studies from around the world have been brought together in the preliminary phase and subjected to detailed analyses employing a new governance analysis framework, ‘deconstructing’ the complexities of MPA governance (MPAG) employing 36 incentives from five categories. The book describes the findings of this work. It is intended to provide a foundation for further discussions 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. The MPA governance analysis framework includes descriptions of the five MPA governance approach categories and the 36 incentives that can be applied in these approaches.

The book Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity (published 25 February 2014) describes this framework, its theoretical background and the details of its application to 20 MPA case studies around the world in much more detail. The book is available from Earthscan/Routledge (see seven reviews at this site), 20% discount code DC361 taking the price to £40.00. See leaflet and blog for more details on this book.

Building on the original 20 case studies, the MPA governance analysis framework has since been applied to nine case study MPAs in Jamaica (2 case studies), Belize (3), Madagascar (1), Indonesia (1), England (1) and Massachusetts (1), and is in the process of being applied to 13 case study MPAs in the Mediterranean (5), Jamaica (3), Vietnam (2), the Seychelles (1) and Western Australia (2). These findings will be published in the near future. If you are interested in undertaking further case studies employing the MPA governance analysis framework (including descriptions of 36 incentives) as part of your academic (including masters, doctoral and post-doctoral) or vocational (MPA managers, etc) studies, please do contact Peter Jones.

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. We have also undertaken a further 17 case studies (in addition to the original 20 case studies) on an opportunistic basis with masters and doctoral students and enquiries from research students who are interested in applying the MPA governance analytical framework are most welcome.

These MPAG case studies will contribute to a qualitative meta-analysis which will assess the effectiveness of MPA governance institutions in achieving biodiversity and resource conservation objectives, whilst  addressing equity issues, with the aim of systematically 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. We are also interested in case studies that wish to apply techniques such as soft systems methodology to analyse MPA case study findings. Please contact Dr Peter JS Jones if you have any suggestions for funding or further case studies, including as part of your academic (including masters, doctoral and post-doctoral) or vocational (MPA managers, etc) studies.

Page last modified on 16 apr 15 11:38