Wednesday, 26 November 2008

How can top-down and bottom up approaches to MPA management be combined?

This question is being addressed through a project involving MPA case studies around the world, with the aim of producing a manual ‘Governing MPAs – a guide to getting the balance right’. This project is a collaboration between University College London (Dr Peter Jones) and IUCN WCPA-Marine (Dr Elizabeth De Santo) and is exploring how a balance can be achieved between providing for meaningful stakeholder participation in MPA decision-making processes and providing for the fulfilment of strategic marine biodiversity conservation objectives. It is premised on the view that the successful governance of MPAs essentially involves addressing basic conflicts between conserving biodiversity and exploiting marine resources, and that a balanced approach to addressing such conflicts can be achieved through an appropriate combination of incentives.

The different ways in which this balance has been achieved in different MPAs will be analysed, providing for the development of recommendations on ‘good practice’ in different contexts. The details of this study can be found in the outline of the proposed MPA governance guide, including a list of case studies and further information on the rationale behind the study. There will be a workshop as part of the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC/IMPAC2) in Washington DC in May 2009 to discuss the findings of the case studies and it is planned that the manual will be published by December 2009. We welcome any offers of further case studies and views on this project.

Dr Peter Jones (UCL) <P.J.Jones@ucl.ac.uk> and Dr Elizabeth De Santo (IUCN) <edesanto@iucnus.org>