- A holistic approach to stakeholder participation is emerging where youth are increasingly being recognized as core stakeholders in community‐based conservation efforts.
- A growing number of youth‐focused marine conservation initiatives and representation at international marine conservation conventions demonstrate that youth are taking an active role in marine conservation worldwide.
- This paper surveys current best practices in youth engagement in marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada, across 10 different engagement strategies. These are: facilitate learning through experiential education; include studies of MPAs in academic and community programmes; utilize multimedia opportunities, including social media, film, website, and apps; provide meaningful volunteer opportunities; deliver professional development sessions for youth initiative building; create youth councils to assist organizations in an advisory role; hire youth for employment in internships, co‐ops and junior positions within organizations; showcase young people as Youth Ambassadors of MPAs; share opportunities through effective outreach and promotion; and, integrate under‐represented perspectives in MPAs.
- Recommendations are drawn from the case studies within each engagement strategy. Collectively, they offer insight into the variety of ways the international community can support, highlight and advance youth participation in MPAs.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are vital to marine conservation, but their coverage and distribution is insufficient to address declines in global biodiversity and fisheries. In response, many countries have committed through the Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity to conserve 10% of the marine environment through ‘ecologically representative’ and ‘equitably managed’ MPAs by 2020. The rush to fulfill this commitment has raised concerns on how efforts to increase MPA coverage will affect other elements of Target 11, including representation and equity. We used a Philippines case study to assess and compare three alternative MPA planning approaches for biodiversity representation and equitable distribution of costs to small‐scale fishers. MPAs in an ‘opportunistic approach’ were identified and supported by coastal communities. A ‘donor‐assisted approach’ utilised local knowledge to select MPAs through a national‐scale and donor‐assisted conservation project. A ‘systematic conservation planning approach’ identified MPA locations through the spatial prioritization software ‘Marxan with Zones’ to achieve biodiversity objectives with minimal and equitable costs to fishers. The opportunistic approach was ineffective at representing biodiversity and resulted in inequitable costs to fishers. MPAs selected through the donor‐assisted approach affected fishers disproportionately but provided near‐optimal representation of a study region extent. With approximately the same MPA coverage, the systematic approach was the only approach that achieved all representation targets with minimal and equitable costs to fishers. Our results demonstrate the utility of systematic conservation planning to address key elements of Target 11 and highlight opportunities and pitfalls for planning MPAs in similar contexts.
Marine stakeholder groups have diverse relationships with the ocean and life within it, which can create conflict and distrust between them. Citizen science and social licence present promising means to develop dialogue between these diverse marine stakeholders and improve outcomes for marine management. Citizen science can be defined as public engagement in scientific research and activities and amongst other benefits, has been demonstrated to improve communication and relationships amongst resource management and stakeholder groups. Social licence is a concept that reflects unwritten permission from the public for others to use and manage natural resources, and has become an important theme for development in the marine realm. We explore a case-study of the marine citizen science programme Redmap Australia, utilising a mixed-methods approach to understand community perceptions of other marine user groups. We explore how marine users legitimise one another, and how this relates to building relationships and developing social licence. Our results show that participation in citizen science can allow users to display their marine citizenship and shared concern about the marine environment, and that this can allow them to earn trust from other user groups. We conclude that participation in citizen science improves perceptions of trustworthiness and can enhance social licence for marine user groups, with positive implications for marine and coastal management. These outcomes provide fruitful insights on marine resource user groups' perceptions that can help to advise future developments in the growing fields of citizen science practice and citizen science research.
Shoreline litter is one of the most widespread pollution problems today. Since shorelines represent very sensitive and large geographical areas, any organized cleanup event requires considerable manpower in order to be successful. This case study illustrates how Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Foundation recruited, organized, and retained tens of thousands of volunteers in order to build a shoreline cleanup movement across Canada.
The importance of stakeholder engagement in ocean observation and in particular the realization of economic and societal benefits is discussed, introducing a number of overarching principles such as the convergence on common goals, effective communication, co-production of information and knowledge and the need for innovation. A series of case studies examine the role of coordinating frameworks such as the United States’ Interagency Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), and the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS), public–private partnerships such as Project Azul and the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) and finally the role of the “third” or voluntary sector. The paper explores the value that stakeholder engagement can bring as well as making recommendations for the future.
In Southeast Asia, mangrove forest cover and biodiversity has shown a rapid decline in recent decades, despite extensive conservation efforts. Identifying and analysing discourses on biodiversity conservation improves our knowledge and understanding of stakeholder perspectives (including normative values and socially constructed viewpoints) on biodiversity conservation within a specific social-ecological context. Considering these perspectives in a decision-making context contributes to the long-term sustainability of resulting conservation approaches, thus contributing to continued biodiversity conservation efforts in the far future. We consider the urban City State of Singapore to identify and interpret stakeholder discourses -including values and socially constructed viewpoints-on (effective) mangrove biodiversity conservation and management in an urban context. Using the Q methodology, we: (i) delineate and describe mangrove conservation and management discourses in Singapore and (ii) extract consensual perspectives common to discourses as a basis for management recommendations. Areas of agreement and disagreement on motivation, prioritization and responsibilities related to mangrove conservation and management are described based on numerical (i.e. sorting of statements along an ordinal scale) and qualitative data (i.e. structured interviews). There was a large overlap between discourses, suggesting that disagreement between various stakeholders may not be a prominent inhibitor of future decision making regarding mangrove conservation and management. It seems stakeholders realise the urban context strongly limits the range of realistic conservation and management approaches of mangrove forests, resulting in the larger overlap between discourses. Generally, all participants agree no further loss of existing Singapore mangroves should be allowed. The most important recommendations to reach this ultimate objective include indefinite legal protection and increase of mangrove areas under national park and nature reserve status, as well as continued promotion of mangrove's cultural ecosystem services. The identified discourses can inform decision-making by deducing shared stakeholder objectives based on the consensus values and perspectives. These shared objectives can readily be incorporated in decision-making processes on mangrove conservation and management in an urban context.
There is a growing impetus to increase marine protected areas coverage globally from 6% to 30% in 2030. Successfully establishing and maintaining marine protected areas require incorporating public preferences into their establishment and management. We investigate the role of alternate management regimes (top-down and bottom-up) on preferences for marine protected areas and the marginal rate of substitution between natural and man-made capital using a case study in the Asia-Pacific region of Okinawa, Japan. We implemented a choice experiment survey to infer which attributes of marine protected areas are most important for the respondents. We use our survey results to calculate respondents’ willingness to support marine protected areas in Okinawa. This study contributes to the policy debate on management of marine protected areas with empirical data that characterizes the perception of Okinawan residents with respect to the role of local coastal communities (bottom-up) compared to central government based agencies (top-down) management. We extend the analysis and estimate the trade-offs to residents in Okinawa between natural capital (i.e. coral coverage and marine biodiversity attribute) and man-made capital (i.e. restrictions on coastal development). We find that the underlying management regime affects the local residents’ valuation of the marine protected area with residents showing a higher willingness to support bottom-up management regimes. There is also substantial differences in the willingness to support different characteristics of marine protected areas by management type. Finally, we find that the marginal rate of substitution between natural capital and man-made capital varies by management type such that residents would need to be compensated relatively less in terms of man-made capital in the presence of a policy scenario that proposes an increase in natural capital under a bottom-up management regime.
Sustainable management of coastal ecosystems requires engaged communities—communities that support sustainable management policies and are willing to adopt behaviours that promote waterway health. Information provision is a common component of engagement practices, yet little is known about what type of information will most effectively motivate engaged communities. We conducted an experimental study (N = 702) examining the effectiveness of different messages about benefits of sustainable coastal management. We examined two messages about cultural ecosystem services (economic benefits and lifestyle benefits), messages focused on conservation benefits, and a ‘control’ message, which mentioned threats to coastal ecosystems but no benefits of management. We also compared the effect of factual and moral arguments on engagement outcomes. Overall, economic messages generated lower intentions to adopt household behaviours, and reduced information seeking across the whole sample. Moral arguments were not more effective than messages using factual arguments. In fact, factual arguments were associated with greater policy support and behavioural intentions. We also examined the role of participant values, political orientation and knowledge on message effectiveness. Participants with a conservative political orientation exhibited poorer responses to framed messages, compared with the control message. These findings highlight the importance of considering message content when communicating with communities. Specifically, messages about ecosystem services may not be superior to environmental messages when communicating about local issues. Recommendations for effective communication commonly suggest aligning messages with audience values. While our findings do not contradict this, they do serve as a reminder to avoid simple assumptions about what these values may entail, and that groups less supportive of conservation goals are likely to require more specific strategies to enhance communication effectiveness.
Are coastal communities relevant in fisheries management? Starting from what Svein Jentoft has had to say about the topic, we explore the idea that viable fishing communities require viable fish stocks, and viable fish stocks require viable fishing communities. To elaborate and expand on Jentoft’s arguments, first, we discuss values as a key attribute of communities that confer the ability to manage coastal resources. Turning to power, next we explore why fishing communities need to be empowered by having the opportunity to self-manage or co-manage resources. Third, regarding community viability, we make the argument that (1) rebuilding or maintaining viable fishing communities and fish stocks cannot succeed without first dealing with vulnerabilities, and that (2) the dimensions of vulnerability involve increase/decrease in well-being, better/poorer access to capitals, and building/losing resilience. The idea that healthy fishing communities and healthy fish stocks require one another implies a viable system that contains both, a social-ecological system view. The values embedded in communities enable them to manage resources. Thus, managers and policy makers need to imagine healthy fishing communities who take care of resources, and this positive image of communities is more likely than present policies to lead to viable fishing communities as well as viable fish stocks.
Collective engagement and inclusiveness have been in growing demand particularly within the context of managing natural resources. Here, a natural and a social scientist report on a case that the two have participated over the past decade, supported by a transdisciplinary evaluation framework. With the aid of a boundary scientist external to the process, analysis focuses on the delivery and update of spatial regulation and fishery management rules in a Marine Protected Area (Marine Park professor Luíz Saldanha) in Arrábida, Portugal, the temporal dynamics in key elements of collaboration and the building up of social, intellectual and political capital in the system. Long-term collective engagement showed that the emergence of key actors and the progression towards an outcome-driven agenda might have the downside to partially demobilize less active members. Further, the increased legitimacy of group action provided by institutional recognition may diminish adaptive capacity and group resilience. Nevertheless, negotiated group proposals to alter the bundles of fishing rights in the system and shaping of boundary objects with relevance to marine sustainability demonstrate that collective action by a community of practice can operate for long periods and deliver more than a compilation of individual wish-lists or noncommittal declarations.