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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryThis is the governance system which determines the use of resources within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The Galapagos Special Law (1998) created the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), and the Galapagos Marine Reserve Management Plan (1999) determines the use of resources within the reserve. Galapagos Special Law (GSL) implemented severe restrictions to immigration, required a new inspection and quarantine system to mitigate invasive species, and enhanced ecosystem protection through a new institutional framework. The system is governed by a bottom-up, two-tier participatory management regime which gives local stakeholders significant decision making power. Official management responsibilities are overseen by the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) and the Ecuadoran Navy.
SubtypeFormal Governance System
Begin Date1998
ExplanationGalapagos Special Law (GSL) passed in 1998, created the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). Galapagos Marine Reserve Management Plan (GMRMP) approved in 1999. The Special Law is closely intertwined with the creation of the GMR, and therefore they are coded together as a single governance system. The GSL was created with extensive consultation and participation from the public and stakeholders.
End DateCurrent
Explanationcoding finished in 2015. Verbal reports that the MPA will be under-going re-zoning ~this year.
Governance ScaleState-based policy
ExplanationState-based policy. Applies only to the province of Galapagos, Ecuador.
Governance System DescriptionThe Galapagos Special Law (GSL) (1998) and the GMR Management Plan (1999) govern the use of the GMR.
ExplanationThe Galapagos Special Law was established in 1998 and created the Galapagos Marine Reserve and GMR management plan, with an emphasis on a more participatory bottom-up approach (Heylings et al. 2002). The Special Law established the GMR’s overarching objective—the protection of the archipelago’s marine biodiversity, both in terms of its intrinsic (preservation) and utilitarian (fisheries and tourism) values. The main aim of the GMR is to ‘‘protect and conserve the coastal-marine ecosystems of the archipelago and their biological diversity for the benefit of humanity, the local population, science and education’’ (GNPS 1998). The Management Plan has 12 specific objectives, encompassing the long term conservation of marine and coastal habitats, endemic and vulnerable species, and resource species, including management actions for their recovery where necessary; and social objectives which include to: Support local fishers to maintain and improve their social and economic status, by ensuring fishing activities that are compatible with biodiversity conservation; Conserve marine-coastal ecosystems as the economic basis for controlled tourism, and to prevent and mitigate any impacts caused by tourism; Promote science aimed at understanding marine biodiversity and areas and sites affected by human activities. The precautionary principle and Adaptive Management, based on solid scientific basis and stakeholder participation are acknowledged in the Management Plan (GNPS 1998). The Galapagos Special Law is implemented through a two-tier governance framework: Participatory Management Board(PMB): decision making body comprised of local representatives of the tourism, naturalist guide and fishing sectors, GNPS and the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). The PMB’s role is to evaluate and attempt to reach a consensus on management proposals relating to the GMR. The PMB has mostly focused on fishing issues, which has generated opposition from local fishing groups, which claim there is undue attention to issues that directly affect their livelihoods. Inter-institutional Management Authority (IMA): executive decision making body of the GMR. It is presided over by Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, and com- posed of three additional ministries: Tourism, Fishing and Defence. Additional seats are occupied by the local fishing sector and the local tourism sector. Both the CDF and GNPS play advisory roles on the IMA. All decisions taken by the PMB must be reviewed by the IMA, which is charged with formulating legally binding resolutions. Normally decisions reached on a consensus basis by the PMB are ratified by the IMA, but when consensus is not reached at the PMB level, the IMA can decide by majority vote. (See Jones 2013 for excellent overview).
Governance Trigger 
ExplanationSudden disturbance. Time scale of 10 or so years of degradation, which I've coded as a sudden disturbance. Increasing social conflict and ecological degradation with the development of the fishery; accelerated stock collapse in the few years leading up to the establishment of the GMR. Fishery was closed in 1992 and 1995. In 1995, fishermen staged large protests, raiding National Park offices, destroying property, and holding giant tortoises hostage (Bremmer & Perez, 2002)
Type Of Formal GovernanceManagement plan
ExplanationSystem of Laws and Management plan. Coded together as one governance system.
Governance Knowledge Use["Scientific knowledge"]
ExplanationScientific organisations feed into the management of the GMR. Although to what extent this information is then appropriately acted upon is debateable. Most of the residents on the Galapagos are immigrants from mainland Ecuador and so there is not the same body of local/traditional knowledge as would be considered in other parts of the world.
CentralizationSomewhat decentralized (2)
ExplanationMany actor groups take part in management of the GMR, participatory management is a management principle of the GMR.
Metric DiversityMedium: Few metrics for success (2)
ExplanationLobster, sea cucumber, and tuna are main fishing resources, surveyed for population growth or decline, as well as several health metrics within the populations
Social Ecological Fit