Nutrient load reductions are needed to improve the state of the Baltic Sea, but it is still under debate how they should be implemented. In this paper, we use data from an environmental valuation study conducted in all nine Baltic Sea states to investigate public preferences of relevance to three of the involved decision-dimensions: First, the roles of nitrogen versus phosphorus reductions causing different eutrophication effects; second, the role of time – the lag between actions to reduce nutrient loads and perceived improvements; and third; the spatial dimension and the roles of actions targeting the coastal and open sea environment and different sub-basins. Our findings indicate that respondents view and value the Baltic Sea environment as a whole, and are not focussed only on their local sea area, or a particular aspect of water quality. We argue that public preferences concerning these three perspectives should be one of the factors guiding marine policy. This requires considering the entire range of eutrophication effects, in coastal and open sea areas, and including long-term and short-term measures.
Community Perceptions and Attitudes
Climate change impacts on marine environments have been somewhat neglected in climate change research, particularly with regard to their social dimensions and implications. This paper contributes to addressing this gap through presenting a UK focused mixed-method study of how publics frame, understand and respond to marine climate change-related issues. It draws on data from a large national survey of UK publics (N = 1,001), undertaken in January 2011 as part of a wider European survey, in conjunction with in-depth qualitative insights from a citizens’ panel with participants from the East Anglia region, UK. This reveals that discrete marine climate change impacts, as often framed in technical or institutional terms, were not the most immediate or significant issues for most respondents. Study participants tended to view these climate impacts ‘in context’, in situated ways, and as entangled with other issues relating to marine environments and their everyday lives. Whilst making connections with scientific knowledge on the subject, public understandings of marine climate impacts were mainly shaped by personal experience, the visibility and proximity of impacts, sense of personal risk and moral or equity-based arguments. In terms of responses, study participants prioritised climate change mitigation measures over adaptation, even in high-risk areas. We consider the implications of these insights for research and practices of public engagement on marine climate impacts specifically, and climate change more generally.
One of the reasons for the failure of some Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is the lack of respect for their boundaries and regulations, which intensifies the need to assess the attitudes of stakeholders affected by MPAs. To this end, it is necessary to know the perception and behavior of resource users in these areas in relation to the management process. This study addressed the perception of different groups of fishermen in three MPAs that allow sustainable use of resources on the Brazilian northeastern coast. The perception analysis was based on four aspects: biodiversity conservation, flexibility and adaptability of fishermen, participation in management and opinions about the MPA. The interviewed fishermen (n=100) were classified into natives or immigrants,≥than 40 years old or <40, predominant use of selective or nonselective fishing gear and part or full time fishermen. The results showed that younger fishermen and the ones who use selective fishing gear presented a more conservation prone perception; nonselective fishermen and part-time fishermen were more flexible and adaptable to changes; and younger fishermen tended to agree more with the establishment of the MPAs. Taking these differences in perceptions among fishermen into account could serve as a basis for improvements in the management and conservation of fishing resources, besides helping predict possible future behavior due to changes in management policies.
As a non-market good, the economic value of an MPA is not revealed in market data or by household production behavior (e.g., travel costs used as the price of a fishing trip); therefore, values are typically estimated from data collected from in-person, telephone, mail, or internet surveys. This research employs a stated preference choice experiment survey of households in California, Oregon, and Washington to quantify public preferences and simulate a suite of different MPA designs and their associated values. The research pertains specifically to MPAs designated in U.S. federal waters (waters 3 to 200 miles from shore) off the coasts of California, Washington, and Oregon West Coast, hereafter referred to as west coast federal waters. All permanently protected marine areas located in west coast federal waters prohibit industrial uses such as mining, oil and gas extraction, and windmill/turbine construction.
The results may be useful in helping managers understand public preferences for MPAs, particularly as they relate to key, and often contested, issues including:
- The effect of MPA size on public economic value
- The effect of MPA use regime on public economic value
- Size/use combinations for MPAs that maximize public values
- Preference heterogeneity for MPAs
The remainder of the report is organized as follows: Section II describes the methods used in the research, including survey development and implementation and choice model theory and estimation. Section III presents results of the general questionnaire and respondent demographics. Section IV presents econometric model results and value estimates associated with MPAs of different size and use configurations. Section V provides a brief discussion of the results and conclusions and recommendations stemming from the research.
Good governance is widely seen as a prerequisite for effective natural resources management in the context of environmental decline and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Few studies quantitatively examine governance principles, or explore links between perceptions of community members and the governance that shapes their behaviour. Comparative work, spanning multiple sites and contexts, is rare. This paper measures community members’ perceptions of governance in twelve coral reef-dependent communities across four countries in the Wider Caribbean Region. In relation to established principles of ‘good governance’, multiple correspondence analysis indicates that perceptions can be reliably described using two themes, institutional acceptance and engagement. These explain over 50% of variation in individual perceptions. These measurable themes provide an indication of the social fit of governance arrangements, and have implications for expected outcomes, including support for management and compliance with regulations. Cluster analysis provides unique empirical evidence linking structural characteristics of governance to community perceptions; four of five good governance indicators were present in communities with positive perceptions. Results suggest a combination of supportive structures and processes are necessary to achieve governance systems positively perceived by community members. Findings are relevant to those seeking to design management systems and governance structures that are appropriate to local circumstances and will engender stakeholder support.
The biological success of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) depends to a large extent on their social acceptability, sometimes referred to as a social licence. Local resistance has slowed international progress towards a global network of MPAs. The causes of local resistance and limited social acceptability are poorly known, which constrains the development of new planning paradigms that could address these issues. Two case studies in New South Wales, Australia determined the factors that influenced community attitudes towards MPAs. The Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park (PSGLMP) and Batemans Marine Park (BMP) underwent virtually identical and concurrent planning processes, however resistance to the BMP was more intense and sustained. Differences in the demographics, history, local media coverage and social impacts of each marine park contributed to these different community responses. The BMP demonstrated the ‘perfect storm’ of opposition triggers – a community struggling in the transition away from a primary production economy, a highly politicised media dominated by powerful elites with ideological objections to the park, and social impacts sufficiently profound to motivate local citizens to support an active campaign against the park. These impacts included loss of access, identity and increased competition for resources. This research points to the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the social, cultural and political landscape of the communities in which MPAs are proposed and a rethink of planning processes to better incorporate community objectives and knowledge.
Drawing on a case study in Germany, this contribution explores the practical application of offshore aquaculture within offshore wind farms in view of the different stakeholders involved. Using a transdisciplinary research approach, an understanding of the rationalities and interests among the different involved stakeholder groups was explored. Offshore wind energy is high on the political agenda in Germany. The vast spatial requirements however inherit potential user conflicts with competing, and under current legislation excluded users such as fishermen. Solutions for combining sustainable uses of the same ocean space have thus seen increasing interest within the research community in Germany and in Europe over the past years. This paper was inspired by and presents the outcomes of a stakeholder analysis and in particular a stakeholder workshop. Central focus was placed on academics and private as well as public stakeholders engaged in current research efforts of combining offshore wind farms and aquaculture in the German North Sea. The paper identifies the overall acceptance of such a multi-use scenario in society, opportunities and constraints as perceived by the stakeholders, and key research gaps. The results confirm the assumption that there is a clear need, and also willingness on behalf of the policy makers and the research community, to find sustainable, resource- and space-efficient solutions for combined ocean use.