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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypeGovernance System
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeInstitutions (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD
QuestionHow high (or low) are the transaction costs of monitoring and enforcing the rules that this governance system involves in managing this commons?
Select Options1 Low, 2 Medium, 3 High
Unit
Role
ImportanceTransaction costs can impede collective action and effective commons management if they are too high. Therefore in many situations it is important to try to minimize transaction costs of institutional delelopment and enforcement. At the same time, such minimization is not universally desirable by all parties. For example, water markets with high transaction costs may actually prevent water from being bought and sold, which in many areas is considered to be benefical by the agricultural and rural interests, where many water rights currently reside. If transaction costs were lowered, then these markets would likely transfer water rights from agricultural uses to urban uses, where individuals can pay higher prices for them.
Definition

Transaction costs have been defined as those costs which are “incurred as a result of collecting information, making decisions, formulating institutional rules, monitoring compliance with these rules, and enforcing these rules” (Paavola and Adger 2005, 357). Although labeled as costs, which might imply an ability to quantitatively measure them with some precision, this is seldom the case.

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used
Accountable leadershipLow
Transaction costs and collective actionLow
Group size and collective actionLow
Payment for ecosystem services (PES)Low
Pigouvian taxesLow
Conditions for general resilienceLow
Private property rights and conservationLow
Conflict resolution and collective actionLow
EcolabelsLow
Parametric managementLow
Roving banditryLow
Market-driven resource declineLow
Ecological effectiveness of MPAsLow
EnforcementLow
Centralized conservationLow

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower MPA Act 2005High (3)Lack of funds and staff to collect and analyze information, and act on it.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management PlanHigh (3)Costs are very high as each boat must have 2 onboard observers, are required to carry a device which record their location, course and speed, and document their catches.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceJoint Sanctuary Management Governance System Low (1)Most of these studies are fairly low cost. EG the LiMPETS project is approximately $250 for a school to implement.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Act 2006High (3)Large scale, and very difficult to access and monitor or enforce area. The cost impedes ability to monitor and enforce.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management PlanHigh (3)Each boat must have 2 onboard observers
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan Low (1)Breeding sites are well known; and limited human population facilitates monitoring.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan Low (1)There appears to be little to no monitoring and enforcement of rules concerning the conservation of light mantled albatross on land or while foraging. Interactions with toothfish fishers are monitored by the AFMA. However, because Macquarie Island is inhabited year round incidental monitoring, and only occupied by a small number of researchers and tourists monitoring is not terribly costly.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012 
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Governance System 1998-currentHigh (3)Vessel Monitoring System is a high-tech, high costs but efficient method of monitoring illegal fishing within the GMR. Enforcement is costly and is conducted by the Navy, but regular enforcement doesn't appear to be carried out. Most of the monitoring of shark populations has been carried out by CDF - in terms of costs to management the cost is low as the CDF is an international NGO - but high cost methods are needed, such as satelite tagging/tracking
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Act 2006High (3)Large scale, and very difficult to access and monitor or enforce area. The cost impedes ability to monitor and enforce.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Governance SystemMedium (2)Local monitors appointed by villagers - fuel for boats, and/or salaries for monitors funded by NGOs (and now by local government).
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Governance SystemMedium (2)Large network for monitoring and enforcing
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries Governance Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management PlanHigh (3)Employing vessel monitors is very expensive. The Council is an expensive form of management, with primary and sub-group meetings.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Environmental Protection ActHigh (3)Leasing and operating vessels with ice-breaking capability to monitor the region is considerably expensive.
Falkland Islands squidGovernanceThe Falkland Islands Government (FIG) Fisheries Department’s Falklands Interim Conservation and Management Zone (FICZ)High (3)While ITQ system was expected to benefit the overall fishery, it also led to a costly managing system. A rights-based system entails additional administrative, enforcement and monitoring costs. Where possible these costs will be identified and recovered directly from the rights-owners. This payment is additional to the resource rental payment (Harte and Barton 2007a).
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi National Park 2008-currentMedium (2)boat and fuel required to travel to nesting sites, which are located at the edge of the park so costs of fuel would be fairly high to visit. Coded as medium as no additional technology involved.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Environmental Protection ActHigh (3)Purchasing, maintaining, and operating Coast Guard boats to monitor fishing compliance likely costs considerable amounts of money.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Governance SystemHigh (3)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Governance SystemHigh (3)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Governance SystemHigh (3)
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Governance System 1998-currentHigh (3)Large park to monitor and enforce. Technology, including Vessel Monitoring System is a high-tech, high costs but efficient method of monitoring illegal fishing within the GMR. Enforcement is costly and is conducted by the Navy, but regular enforcement doesn't appear to be carried out.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Marine Park Management PlanLow (1)Transaction costs are low for the marine park management plan because the only major threat comes from the toothfish fishery which includes 2 observers on each boat. As a result incidental monitoring is sufficient for the major threats that light mantled albatross face on Macquarie Island and within the Marine Park.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management PlanHigh (3)Because of its remote location, costs of monitoring and enforcement are very high. Each vessel must carry two fisheries observers (hired by the AFMA) and a VMS system, which is monitored via satellite by the AFMA. Additionally AFMA and the Australian Defense Force carry out surveillance activities, often sending vessels to the HIMI region.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012Medium (2)Satellite tagging and surveys by boat or aircraft are expensive but the annual southern right whale monitoring at the calving grounds takes place on foot by scientists hiking along the cliffs at the Head of Bight (http://www.gabrightwhales.com/), which would be a medium transaction cost.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih governance systemMedium (2)large area – managed by central governement in Jakarta. boat and fuel required to travel to all reef sites, costs of fuel would be fairly high to visit. Coded as medium as no additional technology involved.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower MPA Act 2005High (3)Lack of funds and staff to collect and analyze information, and act on it.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Act 2006High (3)Large scale, and very difficult to access and monitor or enforce area. The cost impedes ability to monitor and enforce.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012Medium (2)It's a large and remote area so costs would in theory be high, but in reality there is little enforcement/monitoring my the Parks. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Commission for the Conservation of SBT undertake the majority of monitoring of this environmental commons along with research organizations like Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). AFMA monitors commercial fishing of SBT through: onboard scientific observers, a vessel monitoring system and electronic monitoring systems.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Marine Park Act 2004-currentHigh (3)The Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) has made it easier to monitor fishing compliance in no-go areas (although it cannot indicate whether gear regulations are being followed). However, gathering the scientific information necessary to assess the turtle population is expensive; conducting census counts (which require continuous personnel on remote beaches for 3 months) is considered so costly that it has not happened (Limpus et al 2003).
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi National Park 2008-currentMedium (2)boat and fuel required to travel to all reef sites some are located at the edge of the park so costs of fuel would be fairly high to visit. Coded as medium as no additional technology involved.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management PlanHigh (3)Due to the remoteness of HIMI, the cost of research and monitoring is incredibly high.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Marine Park Management PlanLow (1)Transaction costs are low as costs of monitoring are borne by the AFMA and toothfish fishery management plan arrangements.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Marine Park Management PlanLow (1)Little monitoring takes place within the Marine Reserve; however because of limited human populations and onboard observer program in the fishery little monitoring is needed.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Marine Park Act 2004-currentMedium (2)Large scale and many actors, but availability of technology and good information and communication systems
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceJoint Sanctuary Management Governance System Medium (2)Satellite tagging and (aerial) surveys can be quite expensive, while citizen reporting of sightings are less so.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi National Park 2008-currentMedium (2)boat and fuel required to travel to spawning sites to count numbers - spawning sites are spread out across park so costs of fuel would be fairly high to visit all sites. Coded as medium as no additional technology involved.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Marine Park Act 2004-currentMedium (2)Large scale and many actors, but availability of technology and good information and communication systems
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Governance SystemMedium (2)Local communities are mainly involved in monitoring/enforcing their own MPAs, and although boats and fuel for are (fairly) expensive - overall costs are probably lower than for other sites globally. It is designed to be a suitable system funded by the tourism entrance fee (currenlty supplemented by NGOs)
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management PlanHigh (3)Due to the remoteness of HIMI, the cost of doing research and monitoring is incredibly high.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Governance System 1998-currentLow (1)Fishers responsible for monitoring their own catch (although some on-board observers from CDF) # high personal costs for enforcement, as when quotas were set too low there were violent protests by the fishermen - people lost jobs
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan Low (1)Most (if not all) monitoring is undertaken by the onboard observers and implemented by AFMA and Toothfish fishery management plan.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Environmental Protection ActHigh (3)Leasing and operating vessels with ice-breaking capability to monitor the region is considerably expensive.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih governance systemMedium (2)large area – managed by central governement in Jakarta. boat and fuel required to travel to all reef sites, costs of fuel would be fairly high to visit. Coded as medium as no additional technology involved.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife Market Squid Fishery Management PlanMedium (2)Enforcement is expensive. Monitoring primarily cost to industry, but some costs, constant in-season tracking. In 2005: The current baseline cost for maintaining existing Department programs that deal directly with market squid research, monitoring, enforcement, and license sales exceeds $954,000 annually (FMA 2005)
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Quota Management SystemHigh (3)The government does not have enough personnel or funds for complete monitoring and enforcement. Observers are expensive and the primary mechanism for monitoring.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management PlanHigh (3)The AAD is tasked with carrying out a variety of research and monitoring tasks of toothfish in and around the HIMI MPA. Because of the remoteness of the area, and the technological requirements of research in the Southern Ocean, the cost of doing this research and monitoring is incredibly expensive.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management PlanHigh (3)Costs are high as each boat must have two onboard observers, are required to carry a Vessel Monitoring System, and follow a Catch Documentation Scheme. Enforcement and Monitoring is also carried out by the AFMA and Australian Defense Force and has very high cost due to the remoteness of the area.