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Posted on March 4, 2014 - 9:08am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

Interesting tension between Edgar et al's paper (2014, http://openchannels.org/literature-library/1391627691) arguing for large, isolated MPAs, isolation often meaning remote offshore, relatively unimpacted sea areas, even though they argue it does not necessarily mean this. So does remote often equate to residual, which Devillers et al (2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2445/abstract) criticise as biasing marine conservation away from impacted sea areas that are under pressure?

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Posted on February 23, 2014 - 6:30am, by PJSJones

By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

How do we manage marine protected areas (MPAs) in a way that makes them more effective and resilient? A recent book argues that diversity is the key to resilience, both of species in ecosystems and incentives in governance systems

There are growing societal concerns about the health of our seas and increasing interest in the potential of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a key contribution to addressing these concerns. Against this background, a recent book by Dr Peter Jones of UCL’s Department of Geography: Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity, focuses on the argument that the social and ecological resilience of marine ecosystems can be promoted by employing a diversity of approaches in the management or governance of MPAs. He discusses such approaches in terms of ‘governance incentives’.

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Posted on February 7, 2014 - 2:37pm, by PJSJones

Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)

See link for paper and for a conversation article by the lead author, Graham Edgar

To be clear from the outset, I think this is an excellent and very important paper that makes an outstanding contribution to debates about the need for effective MPAs. It represents a recent meta-analysis of the features that make MPAs effective in restoring fish populations, involving 87 MPAs in 40 countries. Interestingly, much of the data was collected by volunteer divers, representing a great example of the importance of ‘citizen science’.

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Posted on June 10, 2013 - 4:20am, by PJSJones

By Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London, P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk

What does the recommendation that the “design and management of MPAs must be both top-down and bottom-up” [1] actually mean in practice? This is the key question that a recent UNEP funded study on MPA governance (MPAG) [2] addresses, the findings of which have just been published in a special issue of the journal Marine Policy.

Debates surrounding governance strategies for MPAs have to date largely focused on top-down, bottom-up or market-based approaches. Whilst co-management approaches for governing MPAs are widely accepted as a way forward for combining these three strategies, many interpretations of this concept exist and it is applied in many different ways to MPAs in different contexts. This study aimed to explore governance through a case-study approach based on a specifically developed empirical framework – the marine protected area governance (MPAG) analysis framework – to increase understanding of how to combine the three governance approaches. A dialogue with MPA practitioners in 20 case studies helped shape the MPAG analysis framework as it developed, and an international workshop was held on ‘Governing MPAs’, bringing the practitioners together to compare results and further develop the framework. The first paper in this special issue provides an overview of the topic and research methodology and introduces the case studies (Jones, De Santo, Qiu and Vestergaard, 2013)

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Posted on March 13, 2013 - 1:29pm, by PJSJones

By Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London, P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk

The European Commission have published the ‘agreed text’ of a draft Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (attached). Further information at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-210_en.htm?subweb=347&lang=en and http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-222_en.htm?subweb=347&lang=en

The MSP Directive is essentially about promoting Blue Growth under the Integrated Maritime Policy and it neglects the framework nature of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). An MSP Directive complicates the policy landscape and, arguably by design, provides for Member States to focus on Blue Growth whilst potentially neglecting MSFD, Habitats Directive, etc, especially in the present economic climate. The contributions that MSP could make to achieving Good Environmental Status (GES) of Europe's seas under the MSFD, such as cross-border assessments of cumulative impacts and the efficient planning of infrastructure in an integrated manner between member states, are neglected or omitted. A retrograde step for achieving GES? Hopefully, the same Members of the European Parliament (MEP) influences that are leading to an improved Common Fisheries Policy can thwart or revise this DG MARE (EC department responsible for maritime economic development and fisheries management) attempt  to do the unnecessary – legally ‘encourage’ Member States to pursue ‘smart’ (?) Blue Growth.

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