Best practices for improved governance of coral reef marine protected areas

Abstract

Coral reef marine protected areas (MPA) are widely distributed around the globe for social and ecological reasons. Relatively few of these MPAs are well managed. This review examines the governance of coral reef MPAs and the means to improve coral reef MPA management. It highlights common governance challenges, such as confused goals, conflict, and unrealistic attempts to scale up beyond institutional capacity. Recommendations, based on field experience and empirical evidence from around the world, are made for best practices at various stages of MPA implementation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Consisting primarily, but not exclusively, of a review of the leading marine policy journals: Ocean and Coastal Management, Marine Policy and Coastal Management.

  2. 2.

    Consisting primarily of a review of MPA News (http://www.mpanews.org), the gray literature, and various MPA guidebooks and reviews (e.g., Salm and Clark 2000; Sobel and Dahlgren 2004; National Research Council 2001), and personal communications.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge Kevern Cochrane and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for their support in preparing this review. Support from the Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest Project (supported by USAID Philippines and implemented by Tetra Tech EMI) and from the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc. is recognized in the preparation of this paper. Comments by two anonymous reviewers greatly improved this manuscript. Finally, we would also like to recognize the many practitioners and fishing community members throughout the Philippines and elsewhere who have committed tremendous effort toward the establishment and management of coral reef MPAs.

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Correspondence to P. Christie.

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Communicated by Guest Editor R. Pollnac.

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Christie, P., White, A.T. Best practices for improved governance of coral reef marine protected areas. Coral Reefs 26, 1047–1056 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-007-0235-9

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Keywords

  • Marine protected areas
  • Governance
  • Coral reefs