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Institutional Interplay in Networks of Marine Protected Areas with Community-Based Management

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Abstract:

Institutional interplay, or the ability of one institution to affect another, is a key feature of multi-level environmental governance that can influence the performance of institutions, such as marine protected areas (MPAs). In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), MPA networks are being created to meet top-down, internationally defined MPA targets, while simultaneously there is a strong regional focus on bottom-up, community-based marine management. These apparently contradictory trends can be bridged through networks of community-based MPAs. To explore whether institutional interplay affects the success of such MPA networks, and to provide guidance for MPA-making in the WIO, the literature on ten geographically diverse MPA networks with community-based MPAs was reviewed. Because this is a first exploration into the topic, not all causal links between institutional interplay and MPA effectiveness could be confirmed, neither was any indication of interplay-related costs found. However, the analysis suggests that institutional interplay is generally concerned with information exchanges and issues of control and authority and seemed to have positive effects on MPA success. As MPA networks expand in the WIO, MPA practitioners and managers in the region may consider different forms of institutional interplay to be tailored to their specific management and financial contexts.

Keywords: MPA networks; community-based MPAs; institutional interplay

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2011.589214

Affiliations: Instituto de Ciência Aplicada e Tecnologia,Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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