This special issue of Coastal Management focuses on the human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs), those MPAs that are typically larger than 250,000 km2. We define ‘human dimensions’ as the cultural, social, economic, political, and institutional factors that affect and are affected by large-scale marine conservation efforts. While human dimensions of marine conservation and coastal management have long been a focus of research, they have not yet received sustained and systematic consideration in relation to LSMPAs specifically. Although there is an emerging body of scholarship focused on the human dimensions of LSMPAs, this is the first collection of papers devoted to their analysis. The purpose of this special issue is to showcase the diversity of human dimensions of LSMPAs, illustrating the range of contexts in which LSMPAs function, the variety of social science tools that can be used to analyze LSMPAs, the ways that human dimensions considerations can be integrated into LSMPA management, and the diverse human dimensions outcomes that are associated with LSMPAs.
Large marine protected areas are increasingly being established to meet global conservation targets and promote sustainable use of resources. Although the factors affecting the performance of small-scale marine protected areas are relatively well studied, there is no such body of knowledge for large marine protected areas. We conducted a global meta-analysis to systematically investigate social, ecological, and governance characteristics of successful large marine protected areas with respect to several social and ecological outcomes. We included all large (>10,000 km2), implemented (>5 years of active management) marine protected areas that had sufficient data for analysis, for a total of twelve cases.
The management and governance of shared stocks have long been identified as a challenge to achieve long-term sustainability in fisheries. This is the situation of fisheries in the Amazon basin, a region shared by nine countries. This paper provides an overview of the social-ecological outcomes and management implications of sharing fish stocks among countries with different public policies, taking the valuable Amazonian ornamental silver arawana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) trade as a case study. Specifically, it (i) presents and discusses the policies of Colombia, Peru and Brazil for the silver arawana fishery, and how these are conducive for the successful management of this shared transboundary fishery; and (ii) analyzes the market for the ornamental silver arawana and how it affects the ability to sustainably manage the fishery. The interplay between the multiple environmental, economic and social dimensions involved in the ornamental silver arawana fishery affects the sustainability of this species even in Brazil, where this fishing is forbidden but still illegally caught by Colombians and Peruvians. Among the factors that make fisheries policies inefficient in this region are: (i) incongruent policies between the countries and institutions with low organizational capacity to accomplish the established policies; (ii) environmental heterogeneity of Amazonian aquatic systems, which requires local and adaptive measures; and (iii) complex socio-economic relationships in the live-fish trade business. Legally binding efforts to reduce problems derived from shared fish stocks are an urgent need and should be addressed by the multilateral organizations created for the Amazonian sustainable development.
Management of common-pool natural resources is commonly implemented under institutional models promoting devolved decision-making, such as co-management and community-based management. Although participation of local people is critical to the success of devolved commons management, few studies have empirically investigated how individuals’ participation is related to socioeconomic factors that operate at multiple scales. Here, we evaluated how individual- and community-scale factors were related to levels of individual participation in management of community-based marine protected areas in Indonesia.