Marine protected area network design features that support resilient human-ocean systems: Applications for British Columbia, Canada
Jenn M. Burt,
Anne K. Salomon and
No 9tdhv, MarXiv from Center for Open Science
In this report, we synthesize the overarching principles and general guidelines that underpin the establishment of marine protected area (MPA) networks designed to meet ecological, governance, social and cultural objectives, based on the peer-reviewed literature. These guidelines are supported by scientific research, institutional experience and global case studies, and take a social-ecological systems approach to marine conservation. Information reviewed in this report suggests that the design of MPAs and MPA networks require the simultaneous consideration of ecological features and processes, governance arrangements, economic costs and benefits, as well as social and cultural values. Planners, managers and decision-makers can use the guidelines synthesized in this report to support the process of MPA network design in their local contexts. We discuss how several of the design guidelines apply to the Pacific region of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, given the federal and provincial governments have committed to establishing a bioregional network of MPAs. In this report we reviewed and synthesized: › Ecological principles and guidelines for MPA network design, with discussion and recommendations on how each of these principles could be applied in B.C.; › Species-specific movement and larval duration estimates for a selection of marine species of ecological, economic, cultural and conservation importance in B.C., with recommendations on how this can inform guidelines on the size and spacing of MPA networks in B.C.; › Overarching principles from global literature on good governance of MPAs and MPA networks; › Design goals and strategies for achieving different social objectives in MPA and MPA network planning; and › Opportunities and challenges for integrating local knowledge systems (focus on Traditional Ecological Knowledge) into marine planning and MPA design. Lastly, we assessed relevant B.C. policy documents using the ecological and good governance guideline frame- works. According to our synthesis of the literature, successful establishment and effective management of MPA networks depend on legitimate and effective governance arrangements that can accommodate ecological criteria while considering the perspectives and input of local resource users and stakeholders. Furthermore, policy makers should specify MPA objectives as this will guide design priorities, assessment and monitoring, and ensure that trade-o s are transparent. Overall, the principles and guidelines synthesized in this report support an approach to MPA design that incorporates biodiversity and ecosystem resilience objectives while recognizing human uses and values. Our compendium of information is most relevant to MPA planning processes in B.C., but can be applied and adapted to MPA and MPA network design in any other region.
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