Marine Protected Area Governance
A A A

Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG)

Book derived from this project

MPAG rationale in UN Rome Call to Action and Scientist's Consensus Statement following Government of Italy and OSA 10X20 Conference

The MPAG rationale and findings formed the basis of the governance stream of the recent international 10X20 Conference (7-9 March 2016, Rome) to support the achievement of a globally agreed target to conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020 (SDG 14, Target 5). This is part of the 10X20 initiative, organised by the Government of Italy, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance. The first two days of the conference involved 25 international experts in discussions on good practice for measures to designate and promote the effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs), focusing on science, governance and finance. During the third day, diplomatic representatives from 33 countries from around the world joined the conference to agree a Call to Action and Scientists' Consensus Statement, which will help guide national governments, United Nations agencies and development donors over the next 15 years in MPA projects around the world. Slides of opening keynote on MPA governance - Information bulletin on this conference and the outputs

Paperback published

Paperback version of the book Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity now published, see Routledge web site for this book to purchase paperback for £25 or $40

The MPAG 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 is a collaboration 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 funding from UNEP. It was established to analyse MPA case studies and develop guidance on governing MPAs in seas under national jurisdiction. An initial sample of 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) for £25 or $40. See publisher web page 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 10 case study MPAs in Jamaica (3 case studies), Belize (3), Madagascar (1), Indonesia (1) and England (2), and is in the process of being applied to 11 case study MPAs in the Mediterranean (5), Vietnam (3), 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 multiple case study 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 21 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 multiple case study 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. 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 22 may 17 18:07