Communication and Education

Evaluating the management effectiveness of three marine protected areas in the Calamianes Islands, Palawan Province, Philippines: Process, selected results and their Implications for planning and management

Citation Information: Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 81, September 2013, Pages 49–57

Authors: Len R. Garces, Michael D. Pido, Mark H. Tupper, Geronimo T. Silvestre

Abstract: Evaluating the management effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs) has been a continuing challenge in marine conservation in the tropics. This paper describes the process involved, the chosen indicators and the selected results of the evaluation of management effectiveness of three MPAs in the Calamianes Islands, Palawan Province, Philippines. The evaluation was a participatory process that involved several institutions: academe, an externally-funded project, local governments, national government agencies and research organizations. Twenty-three indicators were used for evaluation: six biophysical indicators that largely measured the status of capture fisheries and coastal habitats; eight socioeconomic indicators that largely assessed the economic status and the perceptions of coastal communities; and nine governance indicators that measured the various facets of MPA management. Key lessons learned indicate the need to correlate the perceptions of coastal stakeholders with scientific findings as some perceptions did not reflect the results of biophysical surveys. We illustrate that a multidisciplinary approach and engagement of key stakeholders provides a comprehensive assessment and consensus for measuring the success of MPAs.

Seahorses helped drive creation of marine protected areas, so what did these protected areas do for the seahorses?

Citation Information: Environmental Conservation (2012), 39 : pp 183-193

Authors: M. Yasué, A. Nellas, and A. C. J. Vincent

Abstract: In marine environments, charismatic or economically valued taxa have been used as flagships to garner local support or international funds for the establishment and management of marine protected areas (MPAs). Seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are frequently used as flagship species to help engender support for the creation of small community-managed no-take MPAs in the central Philippines. It is thus vital to determine whether such MPAs actually have an effect on seahorse abundance, reproductive status and size. A survey of seahorses inside and immediately adjacent to eight MPAs, and in four distant unprotected fishing areas, showed these MPAs had no significant effect on seahorse densities; although densities in and near MPAs were higher than in the distant fished sites, seahorse densities did not change over time. Seahorse size did show a marginal reserve effect, with slightly larger seahorses being found inside MPAs as compared to the distant unprotected fishing areas, but, in general, MPAs had little impact on seahorse size. Although MPAs may eliminate local fishing pressure, they may not reduce other threats such as pollution or destructive fishing outside the reserves. Other recovery tools, such as ecosystem-based management, habitat restoration and limits on destructive fishing outside of MPAs, may be necessary to rebuild seahorse populations. The effects of MPAs depend on species, as well as conditions outside the reserve boundaries. MPA management objectives must thus be clearly and realistically articulated to the communities, especially if support for an MPA was derived at least partly to conserve a particular flagship species.

Is Canada on track to create 12 new marine protected areas by December 2012?

Citation Information: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Dare to be Deep Progress Report

Date: May 14, 2012

Executive Summary: With the longest coastline of any country in the world, but less than one percent of our oceans under any form of meaningful protection, Canada’s rich marine ecosystems are at growing peril. The biggest threats to marine biodiversity are overfishing, industrial development, pollution and climate change.

Recognizing that Canada is not going to achieve its international commitment to completing a full network of marine protected areas by 2012, one year ago CPAWS challenged the federal government, working with the provinces and Indigenous peoples, to demonstrate real progress towards this commitment by significantly advancing protection of 12 special marine sites by December 2012. These 12 sites are extraordinary places that nurture fish stocks and shelter endangered species like Right and Blue whales, Atlantic wolffish and Leatherback turtles. They are also amazing destinations for nature lovers to marvel at the wonders above and below the ocean’s surface.

As a national conservation organization with chapters in nearly every province and territory, CPAWS staff and volunteers are directly engaged in marine conservation efforts in the 12 areas reviewed in this report. One year after we launched our challenge to create 12 new marine protected areas by 2012 we have reviewed the action by governments to move these 12 sites closer to final protection. We have assessed how much progress has been made towards establishing these marine protected areas, as well as the strength of conservation measures being proposed for each site.

Deriving Lessons Relating to Marine Spatial Planning from Canada's Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management Initiative

Citation Information: Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning; Volume 14, Issue 1, 2012; Special Issue: Marine Spatial Planning: A New Frontier?

DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2012.662384

Authors: Wesley Flannery & Micheál Ó Cinnéide

Abstract: Stakeholder participation is viewed as a key element of ecosystem-based marine spatial planning (MSP). There is much debate over the effectiveness of stakeholder participation in ecosystem-based management (EBM) in general and over the form it should take. Particular challenges relating to participation in the marine environment are highlighted. A study of the Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management initiative, which uses a collaborative planning model to implement EBM, is presented in order to explore these issues further. Criteria derived from a review of collaborative planning literature are employed to evaluate the effectiveness of this model, which is found to be a useful consensus-building tool. Although a strategic-level plan has been adopted, the initiative has encountered difficulties transitioning from plan development to plan implementation. These are attributable in large measure to deficiencies in the design of the collaborative model. Useful lessons relating mainly to stakeholder engagement, the role of the lead agency, and implementation strategies are advanced for those engaging in MSP processes.

Challenges in global biodiversity conservation and solutions that cross sociology, politics, economics and ecology

Citation Information: Published online before print July 25, 2012, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0596 Biol. Lett.

Authors: Sean Hoban and Cristiano Vernesi

Abstract: The study and practice of conservation biology is inherently interdisciplinary, addresses short and long time-scales and occurs within complex human–natural interfaces. Zoos and aquaria, in partnership with researchers, other non-government organizations, government, industry and educators, are combining knowledge of species and ecosystems with economics, psychology and law to create solutions for conserving biodiversity. From 22 to 25 May, the Conservation Forum of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria was a venue for discussing conservation research, education and interventions, from the scale of villages to global policy.

Fishery stakeholder engagement and marine spatial planning: Lessons from the Rhode Island Ocean SAMP and the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

Citation Information: Ocean & Coastal Management; 14 June 2012; Volume 67, October 2012, Pages 9–18

Authors: Heidi M. Nutters and Patricia Pinto da Silva

Abstract: Coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) is a key component of the US National Ocean Policy. Efforts to implement CMSP in US federal waters are beginning in earnest. Beyond sound science and data, a stakeholder engagement process that encourages public participation, collaboration and communication between disparate groups is at the heart of effective marine spatial planning (MSP). While a rich body of literature on stakeholder engagement exists, few opportunities exist to compare different stakeholder engagement processes as they occur on the ground for a particular stakeholder group. Between 2008 and 2010 marine spatial planning efforts were conducted by the neighboring US states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and Rhode Island Ocean SAMP provide models for the nation in structuring effective stakeholder processes for ocean management. Within both states, commercial fishermen were identified as key stakeholders.

For this study, commercial fishermen’s perceptions of the engagement process in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were examined. Specifically, this paper explores the role fishermen sought in these two pioneering MSP efforts, and the role they felt they actually played. Key findings include the need for clear communication of the role of stakeholders, stakeholder empowerment and background stakeholder analysis to understand the needs and challenges faced by participating groups. This work provided a unique opportunity to examine how each ocean planning effort engaged commercial fishermen and to reflect on lessons learned for future such initiatives in the US and beyond. Exploring effectiveness through the perceptions of primary stakeholders such as commercial fishermen further elucidates the challenges and opportunities of carrying out MSP and stakeholder processes in practice.

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