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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypeGovernance System
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeCausation (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD, Fiji fisheries
QuestionWould you say that the governance system associated with this commons is addressing the more proximate causes, or addressing the more ultimate, underlying causes of the environmental and social problems that can be associated with this commons?
Select Options1 Proximate, 2 Between proximate and ultimate, 3 Ultimate
Unit
Role
ImportanceAddressing proximate vs. ultimate causes has implications for effectively addressing an environmental problem. Proximate causes can be more addressed more easily in many cases due to the fact that doing so makes fewer challenges to existing economic and political dynamics and interests. However, without addressing underlying drivers, addressing only proximate causes can lead to a situation of "lock-in" where the fundamental problem is not resolved, and only palliative measures are taken that don't offer long-term solutions to the problem (see Geist and Lambin 2002).
Definition

Proximate causes are those closest to a particular outcome (e.g. resource degradation), whereas ultimate causes are more like underlying drivers that in turn have created the conditions for the proximate causes in the first.

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used
Technical solutions and shifting the burdenProximate

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceForests in Indonesia 
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower MPA Act 2005Proximate (1)It regulates access of certain groups to specific areas (industrial fishers, artisanal fishers, divers) but it does not address any issues related to overpopulation, globalization, fisheries subsidies, etc.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceForests in Indonesia Isn’t the governance system the underlying cause of environmental and social problems?
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceWestern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Proximate (1)Regulation focuses on extraction rate of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, the proximate cause. Comparatively less attention is given to the size of fishing fleets, investments in fleets etc.
Galapagos Marine ReserveBiophysicalGalapagos Sea Cucumber 
Community D (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity D Governance SystemProximate (1)
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzone Depleting SubstancesNot Applicable
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Depleting SubstancesProximate (1)ODS emissions are a direct cause of ozone depletion.
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzoneProximate (1)The Montreal Protocol directly targets ODS emissions which is the proximate cause of ozone depletions.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceEastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaProximate (1)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceEastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaProximate (1)
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR coral coverProximate (1)Mainly addresses extractive pressures, and manages tourism;
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)GovernanceRhine Point source pollutantsProximate (1)Focused on ambient concentration levels
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR coral coverProximate (1)Mainly addresses extractive pressures, and manages tourism;
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzone Depleting SubstancesNot Applicable
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzoneNot Applicable
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR target fishProximate (1)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Depleting SubstancesProximate (1)Governance system, where implemented in national regulations does address ODS emissions, but they are insufficient to have an appreciable impact.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi fish spawningProximate (1)Focused on destructive fishing
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernancePatagonian Toothfish Proximate (1)
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Royal PenguinProximate (1)Management plans address threats from tourists and researchers and invasive species.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceLight Mantled AlbatrossProximate (1)Regulations on Macquarie Island seek to protect nesting habitat, avoid disturbing birds. Fisheries regulations seek to conserve light mantled albatross by requiring technologies that limit the likelihood of bycatch, and close fisheries if 2 light mantled albatross are taken in a given year.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Lobster FisheryProximate (1)Lobster fishery is closed.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Green TurtleProximate (1)Ban harvesting and turtle nesting beaches protected
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Sea CucumberBetween proximate and ultimate (2)GMRMP & GSL addresses: immigration & direct take proximate causes: overexploitation ultimate causes: immigration pressure
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Green TurtleProximate (1)Focussing on reducing direct threats
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management PlanProximate (1)The management plan uses quotas to control levels of exploitation, does not address issues related to fishing subsidies or likely unsustainable demand for Patagonian Toothfish
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan Proximate (1)Harvesting of royal penguins is banned; major threats include predation of eggs by Skua which occur at high levels due to rabbit population. With the recent elimination of rabbits, this effect might be expected to decline.
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)BiophysicalRhine Non-point source pollutants 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Trophic DensityProximate (1)focussing on no-take, direct threats
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Green TurtleProximate (1)Management plan for terrestrial portion of park protects most nesting beaches, with one site designated as a tourist site, and programs are in place to reduce the impact of feral pigs on turtle nests.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi coral coverProximate (1)Direct impacts of gears on corals - focus on reduction in destructive practices, including blast fishing (Clifton 2013)
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management PlanProximate (1)
Community F (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity F Governance SystemProximate (1)
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos SharksBetween proximate and ultimate (2)Both: Ban on industrial fishing and long-lining, and also an attempt to control immigration. The Galapagos Special Law laid out immigration protocols which sought to limit the size of the resident population, but this has only started to have an impact - from 1999 to 2005, the population in Galapagos grew by 60%.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan Proximate (1)The Macquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan seeks to conserve light mantled albatross by limiting human impacts on their breeding sites and managing invasive species that directly or indirectly affect them.
Community A (Fiji fisheries)GovernanceCommunity A Governance SystemProximate (1)
Community C (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity C Governance SystemProximate (1)
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Act 2006Proximate (1)Focussed on no take
Community B (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity B Governance SystemProximate (1)
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Governance SystemProximate (1)Governance system focuses on reducing destructive practices and over-fishing (Boli, 2014).
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012Proximate (1)Focuses on proximate through minimizing the risk of human interference with the sea lion breeding areas
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Governance System 1998-currentBetween proximate and ultimate (2)Adresses both: focus on over-exploitation of resources and banning industrial fishing. The Galapagos Special Law also laid out immigration protocols which sought to limit the size of the resident population, but this has only started to have an impact - from 1999 to 2005, the population in Galapagos grew by 60%.
Community E (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity E Governance SystemProximate (1)
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Act 2006Proximate (1)The lobster fishery was closed in 2000 due to concerns over low populations
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Governance SystemProximate (1)Focussed on reducing poaching of nesting turtles and nests
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Governance SystemProximate (1)Mainly focussed on reducing destructive fishing
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Environmental Protection ActProximate (1)The Governance System controls the number of visitors permitted within the Nature Reserves, and of the activities taking place.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Environmental Protection ActProximate (1)Controlling number of fishers and how they fish, but not addressing demand considerations.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi National Park 2008-currentProximate (1)Addressing over-exploitation/destructive fishing
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceJoint Sanctuary Management Governance System Between proximate and ultimate (2)By regulating shipping activities, groundings are less likely. By providing educational resources, particularly in front of these rocky shores areas, visitor influence on this ecosystem is likely less severe. Poaching is enforced and noted to decrease illegal taking. Water quality programs are active and reduce contaminating these habitats.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012Proximate (1)Focuses on proximate through minimizing the risk of human interference with the annual aggregation and calving of southern right whales by prohibiting vessel traffic in the Marine Mammal Protection Zone of the GABMP (CW) from May 1 to October 31.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Governance SystemProximate (1)
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries Governance Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management PlanBetween proximate and ultimate (2)The management process attempts to incorporate social and economic needs of the fishery and addresses fluctuating conditions. The discussion and public hearing sessions are designed to address both proximate and underlying concerns. Both short term and long term goals are specified in the federal groundfish management plan. Habitat is managed as a long term concern. Quotas are allocated to address proximate overfishing, but the assessments include long term projections.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Governance SystemProximate (1)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Governance SystemProximate (1)
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Marine Park Management PlanProximate (1)Mainly addresses concerns related to bycatch in fisheries; but also provides some protection of foraging grounds and species within foraging grounds.
Falkland Islands squidGovernanceThe Falkland Islands Government (FIG) Fisheries Department’s Falklands Interim Conservation and Management Zone (FICZ)Between proximate and ultimate (2)Addressing overfishing and seabird interaction is addressing proximate Addressing local rights (ITQ) is more ultimate
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR target fishBetween proximate and ultimate (2)Managing fisheries, and resilience to climate change and extreme events. Not addressing population growth, fish consumption and demand, carbon emission and mining growth
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Governance System 1998-currentBetween proximate and ultimate (2)Adresses both: focus on over-exploitation of resources and banning industrial fishing. The Galapagos Special Law also laid out immigration protocols which sought to limit the size of the resident population, but this has only started to have an impact - from 1999 to 2005, the population in Galapagos grew by 60%.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management PlanProximate (1)Prohibits fishing in the MPA (except in conservation zones), but does not address larger fishery issues (e.g., IUU, fishing demand, etc.).
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Marine Park Act 2004-currentProximate (1)Management addresses ways to reduce turtle bycatch (e.g. TEDs), but is not addressing ultimate drivers such as demand for fish and climate change.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower MPA Act 2005Proximate (1)It regulates access of certain groups to specific areas (industrial fishers, artisanal fishers, divers) but it does not address any issues related to overpopulation, globalization, fisheries subsidies, etc.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Act 2006Proximate (1)Focussed on no-take
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Plan of Management 2000 - 2005 and Management Plan 2005 - 2012Proximate (1)Primarily offers protection via eliminating direct threats: conserving breeding and calving habitat of species of conservation concern, and a benthic protection zone.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management PlanProximate (1)The management plan addresses human use in the area, including prevention of invasive species, protection of the penguins themselves, etc. However, it does not (and cannot) deal with other issues, like the threat of climate change.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management PlanProximate (1)The management plan addresses human use and has tight restrictions on where people can go, thus protects disturbance of albatross and nests. However, it does not (and cannot) protect agains other issues, like the threat of climate change. Further, while fishing is banned in the marine reserve, albatross are still potentially vulnerable outside of the marine reserve and are highly vulnerable to being caught by IUU fishers in the larger area.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Marine Park Management PlanProximate (1)Regulates fishing activities within the Macquarie Island Marine Park, does not address drivers of demand, fishing subsidies etc
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Marine Park Management PlanProximate (1)Management plans address proximate causes by banning harvesting and protecting habitat. Does not address issues related to climate change which is a potential threat.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Marine Park Act 2004-currentProximate (1)Mostly addressing proximate causes like over-exploitation, dumping of dredge spoil from coastal development and building resilience to climate change. Not putting as much emphasis on ultimate drivers like population growth or carbon emissions or expanding coal mining.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceJoint Sanctuary Management Governance System Between proximate and ultimate (2)While the governance deals with strandings, more ultimate causes such as shipping lanes and ecosystem health are being addressed.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih governance systemProximate (1)
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi National Park 2008-currentProximate (1)Focus on reducing destructive fishing practices such as blast fishing
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Marine Park Act 2004-currentProximate (1)Mostly addressing proximate causes like over-exploitation, dumping of dredge spoil from coastal development and building resilience to climate change. Not putting as much emphasis on ultimate drivers like population growth or carbon emissions or expanding coal mining.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan Proximate (1)The Nature Reserve Management Plan prohibits fishing within the marine portion of the Nature Reserve.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management PlanProximate (1)The fishery management plan governs fishing vessels within AU EEZ's around HIMI, however it does not deal with global albatross bycatch issues or other underlying threats.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Governance System 1998-currentBetween proximate and ultimate (2)Both: Fishery restrictions and an attempt to control immigration. The Galapagos Special Law laid out immigration protocols which sought to limit the size of the resident population, but this has only started to have an impact - from 1999 to 2005, the population in Galapagos grew by 60%.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi National Park 2008-currentProximate (1)focussed on reducing destructive fishing practices
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Environmental Protection ActProximate (1)The Governance System controls the number of visitors permitted within the Nature Reserves, and of the activities taking place.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife Market Squid Fishery Management PlanProximate (1)Primarily proximate. The cap addresses overfishing, also focus on gear type and larger ecosystem factors such as incidental catch. Primarily effort based through licenses, catch based through total catch limit. Weekend closures and protected areas also proximate.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih governance systemProximate (1)
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Quota Management SystemBetween proximate and ultimate (2)Proximate: Focusing on catch limit and animal interaction, primarily sea lion escape rate. Ultimate: Ownership and Stewardship through Quota Management System
Community G (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity G Governance SystemProximate (1)
Community H (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity H Governance SystemProximate (1)
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceHeard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Management PlanProximate (1)The management plan uses quotas and a variety of management rules to limit harvest. However, it does not address issues related to black markets (IUU), subsidies or potentially unsustainable demand for toothfish on an international level.