Revisiting "success" and "failure" of marine protected areas: a conservation scientist perspective

Giakoumi, Sylvaine, McGowan, Jennifer, Mills, Morena, Beger, Maria, Bustamante, Rodrigo H., Charles, Anthony, Christie, Patrick, Fox, Matthew, Garcia-Borboroglu, Pablo, Gelcich, Stefan, Guidetti, Paolo, Mackelworth, Peter, Maina, Joseph M., McCook, Laurence, Micheli, Fiorenza, Morgan, Lance E., Mumby, Peter J., Reyes, Laura M., White, Alan, Grorud-Colvert, Kirsten, and Possingham, Hugh P. (2018) Revisiting "success" and "failure" of marine protected areas: a conservation scientist perspective. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5. 223.

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Marine protected areas (MPAs) form the cornerstone of marine conservation. Identifying which factors contribute to their success or failure is crucial considering the international conservation targets for 2020 and the limited funds generally available for marine conservation. We identified common factors of success and/or failure of MPA effectiveness using peer-reviewed publications and first-hand expert knowledge for 27 case studies around the world. We found that stakeholder engagement was considered to be the most important factor affecting MPA success, and equally, its absence, was the most important factor influencing failure. Conversely, while some factors were identified as critical for success, their absence was not considered a driver of failure, and vice versa. This mismatch provided the impetus for considering these factors more critically. Bearing in mind that most MPAs have multiple objectives, including non-biological, this highlights the need for the development and adoption of standardized effectiveness metrics, besides biological considerations, to measure factors contributing to the success or failure of MPAs to reach their objectives. Considering our conclusions, we suggest the development of specific protocols for the assessment of stakeholder engagement, the role of leadership, the capacity of enforcement and compliance with MPAs objectives. Moreover, factors defining the success and failure of MPAs should be assessed not only by technical experts and the relevant authorities, but also by other stakeholder groups whose compliance is critical for the successful functioning of an MPA. These factors should be considered along with appropriate ecological, social, and economic data and then incorporated into adaptive management to improve MPA effectiveness.

Item ID: 58690
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-7745
Keywords: Conservation scientists, Effectiveness assessment, Failure, Marine protected areas, Stakeholder engagement, Success
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Giakoumi,McGowan,Mills, Beger, Bustamante, Charles, Christie, Fox, Garcia-Borboroglu, Gelcich, Guidetti, Mackelworth, Maina, McCook, Micheli, Morgan, Mumby, Reyes, White, Grorud-Colvert and Possingham. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), University of Queensland, Pew Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CEED funding
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2019 00:15
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
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