Using forecasting methods to incorporate social, economic, and political considerations into marine protected area planning

Sykora-Bodie, Seth T., Alvarez-Romero, Jorge G., Arata, Javier A., Dunn, Alistair, Hinke, Jefferson T., Humphries, Grant, Jones, Christopher, Skogrand, Pål, Teschke, Katharina, Trathan, Philip, Welsford, Dirk, Ban, Natalie C., Murray, Grant, and Gill, David A. (2021) Using forecasting methods to incorporate social, economic, and political considerations into marine protected area planning. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8. 669135.

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As the global environmental crisis grows in scale and complexity, conservation professionals and policymakers are increasingly called upon to make decisions despite high levels of uncertainty, limited resources, and insufficient data. Global efforts to protect biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction require substantial international cooperation and negotiation, both of which are characterized by unpredictability and high levels of uncertainty. Here we build on recent studies to adapt forecasting techniques from the fields of hazard prediction, risk assessment, and intelligence analysis to forecast the likelihood of marine protected area (MPA) designation in the Southern Ocean. We used two questionnaires, feedback, and a discussion round in a Delphi-style format expert elicitation to obtain forecasts, and collected data on specific biophysical, socioeconomic, geopolitical, and scientific factors to assess how they shape and influence these forecasts. We found that areas further north along the Western Antarctic Peninsula were considered to be less likely to be designated than areas further south, and that geopolitical factors, such as global politics or events, and socioeconomic factors, such as the presence of fisheries, were the key determinants of whether an area was predicted to be more or less likely to be designated as an MPA. Forecasting techniques can be used to inform protected area design, negotiation, and implementation in highly politicized situations where data is lacking by aiding with spatial prioritization, targeting scarce resources, and predicting the success of various spatial arrangements, interventions, or courses of action.

Item ID: 69899
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-7745
Keywords: Antarctica, CCAMLR, conservation planning, expert elicitation, forecasting, marine conservation, marine protected areas, Southern Ocean
Copyright Information: Sykora-Bodie, Álvarez-Romero, Arata, Dunn, Hinke, Humphries, Jones, Skogrand, Teschke, Trathan, Welsford, Ban, Murray and Gill. 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: Duke University, Endeavor Research Fellowship Programme, Chateaubriand STEM Research Fellowship, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 00:55
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1804 Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments > 180403 Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems @ 100%
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