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Socio-cultural dimensions of determining MPA effectiveness

Principal Investigators: Clarke & Yates

While MPAs are a critical tool for marine conservation and managements, they face many challenges and all too often inadequacies in MPA design and management have led to many MPAs failing to achieve their goals. Many of these inadequacies have been attributed to insufficient and ineffective stakeholder involvement and increasingly researchers argue that social factors, not biological or physical variables, are the primary determinants of MPA success or failure. Here we examine the social-cultural dimensions of MPA effectiveness in South Australia; in particular we investigate what different stakeholders consider to be ‘success'.

In 2012 the South Australian Marine Parks Council endorsed community stewardship as both a method and the goal for ensuring that South Australia's marine parks will be effective and successful. This project will investigate the community's and industry's current priorities, values and perceptions of nature conservation by examining the success of marine parks as conceived/expressed by different stakeholder groups. This research will focus on Encounter Bay Marine Park and will use a multi-methods approach that involves: a review of the international and national literature, stakeholder interviews and focus groups.  This research was funded by a $25,000 grant from the Wildlife Conservation Fund, DEWNR.


Expected outputs include: a report, a presentation at an international conference and a peer reviewed journal article.

Centre for Coastal Research

The Centre for Coastal Research is no longer active. For all coastal research matters, please contact Professor Nick Harvey.