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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeCategorical
Variable Component TypeGovernance System
Variable KindComponent
ThemeInstitutions (learn about themes)
QuestionWhat was the motivation for siting of this MPA?
Select OptionsEcological value, High human impact to mitigate, Feasibility, Other
ImportanceMany MPAs have been selected mainly based on pragmatic and socio-economic considerations (e.g. Leslie, 2005), there is an increasing body of scientific research devoted to the question of how to select protected areas that most cost-effectively satisfy conservation and management goals. A consternation of large MPAs is that they are located in areas with low human impact and least promise for commercial uses; protection is therefore not provided to species and ecosystems that are most susceptible to threatening processes (Devillers et al. 2014).

Ecological value: the MPA was chosen because of a high ecological value, i.e. it is considered to have high levels of biodiversity, endemism, and/or unique features which warrant protection.

High human impact: the MPA was sited because there are high human pressures on the environment known to be negative drivers of change (e.g. pollution, fishing, ship traffic)

Feasibility: the MPA was sited because there was relatively little opposition, and/or minimal disruption to commercial activities.

Other: please describe

SectorsMarine protected areas

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used

Component Usages

ComponentValue UsedExplanation
GBR Marine Park Act 1975-1999["Ecological value"]
GBR Marine Park Act 2004-current["Ecological value"]
Wakatobi National Park 2008-current["Ecological value", "High human impact to mitigate"]established in an attempt to reduce destructive fishing practices and the threat of overfishing (WWF/TNC 2003 report: rapid ecological assessment Wakatobi NP).
NWHI Monument Act 2006["Ecological value", "Feasibility"]Intact ecosystems, but nobody lives there.
Raja Ampat Governance System["Ecological value"]Raja Ampat is a national and global priority for conservation as it contains the world’s most diverse coral reefs and critical habitats for globally threatened marine species, and is a cetacean migratory corridor.
Joint Sanctuary Management Governance System ["Ecological value", "High human impact to mitigate"]Oil companies wanted to drill in this area, which was the primary reason the siting was motivated. But the high ecological value and highly productive biological biodiversity was also deemed critical to why this MPA was here vs elsewhere.
Svalbard Environmental Protection Act[""]These parks were created by the recognition of large intact habitat in the polar environment.
Seaflower MPA Act 2005["Ecological value", "Feasibility"]Its biodiversity, declared as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, high social capital of major (if not all) stakeholders (i.e. feasibility).
Galapagos Governance System 1998-current["Ecological value", "High human impact to mitigate"]The Galapagos Islands have been long recognized for their unique characteristics, and it was recognised that there was considereable chnage occuring due to human impacts.
Macquarie Island Marine Park Management Plan["Ecological value", "Feasibility"]The Macquarie Island Nature Reserve has been protected in one way or another since the early 1900's. The area is important for a number of migratory species. It appears that the area was chosen fior an MPA because of this value; but also because the absence of a human population made it fairly easy to design and implement.
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012["Ecological value"]The Park was declared for two reasons: firstly, to complement the State Marine Park for the primary purpose of protecting the endangered southern right whale and rare Australian sea lion, and secondly, to preserve a representative strip of the unique seafloor (benthic) environment in line with the development of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas under Australia’s Oceans Policy.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management Plan["Ecological value", "Feasibility"]Ecological value: HIMI was one of five priority areas that the Australian government identified for marine protection as part of their Australian Ocean Policy. Feasibility: Heard and McDonald Islands are incredibly remote. There is no native population and the region is incredibly inhospitable. They islands are only occasionally visited by tourists or scientists. Fishing does occur outside the MPA.
Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management PlanNot Applicable
Cenderwasih governance system["Ecological value"]High ecological value - although it's true value (number of endemic species) wasn't fully realised to after designation.