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Capacity for (Co)Management of Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean

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Great strides have been made in identifying and measuring the conditions that favor the success of marine protected areas (MPAs). We can also evaluate the management effectiveness of MPAs. More attention is being paid to sustainable financing, and MPA networks help us to scale-up their benefits. Yet, the capacity to manage or co-manage MPAs often remains limited, especially in small island developing states, even after numerous capacity assessment and development initiatives. Capacity is more than a collection of human technical skills supplemented by physical and financial assets. It is a complex multi-dimensional concept that also includes less easily measurable overarching components such as worldview, organizational culture, and propensity for networking that tend to shape the more mechanistic elements of capacity. We offer a largely qualitative analysis of practical observations on how capacity and management effectiveness (in terms of biophysical, socioeconomic, and governance aspects) have combined to influence success and lack of success in a selection of small Caribbean MPAs. Lessons learned from this analysis contribute to our understanding of the role that human dimensions play in MPA success.

Keywords: Caribbean; capacity; marine protected areas

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies,Cave Hill Campus, University of the West Indies, Barbados,

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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