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Governance of Marine Protected Areas in the Wider Caribbean: Preliminary Results of an International Mail Survey

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In order to develop a regional "profile" of marine protected area (MPA) governance regimes, an international mail survey of MPAs in the Wider Caribbean was conducted. Forty-two MPA managers-individuals directly responsible for site management-were surveyed regarding the institutional arrangements governing the development and management of a single, specified MPA. Results indicate that Wider Caribbean MPAs were usually established without comprehensive information regarding local biological and socioeconomic conditions. Participation in MPA development and management varied extensively by stakeholder group and by governance process. National government and local groups (resident users, local governments, and local nongovernmental organizations) were the stakeholders most frequently "actively involved" in MPA governance. Efforts to ensure compliance with MPA regulations relied almost wholly upon sanctions and environmental education; incentive-based mechanisms such as skills training, equipment trading, and employment programs were rarely used. Zoning was a commonly employed but not universally adopted management tool. Though further study is necessary to confirm these preliminary data, results from this survey provide the contextual basis for designing and interpreting research into the development and management of MPAs.
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Keywords: GOVERNANCE; INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS; INSTITUTIONS; MARINE PROTECTED AREAS; STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-10-01

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