Back To Schedule
Friday, June 28 • 10:15 - 11:45
Rethinking MPA governance

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Chaired by: Sowman, M.

Negotiating property rights in coastal Marine Protected Areas (MPAs):  Canada’s Basin Head MPA case study
Mario Levesque

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is an inland sea on Canada’s Atlantic coast that is enclosed by an ensemble of Canadian federal-provincial jurisdictions that govern an array of semi-autonomous policy sub-sectors. This paper explores the intersection of two subsectors, marine conservation and coastal development. At the heart of each are the establishment of property rights which are often touted as a solution to a resource’s management and protection. These rights are important given they dictate the rights of access, exclusion and management, among others, which vary depending on one’s legal position (e.g., owner, authorized user). Yet these rights are increasingly challenged in cases of coastal Marine Protected Areas (MPA) where their fate may ultimately hinge on terrestrial practices such as agriculture which itself is based on its own set of property rights. Such is the case in the Basin Head Marine Protected Area that borders the province of Prince Edward Island the east coast of Canada where one finds a unique type of Irish Moss that is increasingly under threat by land-based activities such as intensive potato farming. This paper explores the competing sets of terrestrial and marine property rights involved and questions their evolution, negotiation and political spaces for contestation by civil society actors.

“What does the future hold?” Stakeholders’ views of development and its putative effects on sustainability in a Mozambican marine reserve
Serena Lucrezi, Carlo Cerrano & Diana Rocha

Marine reserves can be hotspots for sustainable development, thanks to management strategies, actions and regulatory mechanisms aimed to protect ecosystems and promote sustainable livelihoods. The Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve (PPMR) in southern Mozambique is a vast reserve holding enormous conservation and sustainable development potential, through capacity building and the promotion of marine tourism. The reserve, awaiting nomination for UNESCO World Heritage listing, is set to undergo substantial transformative tourism development aligned with conservation goals, to become a prime ecotourism destination. However, the putative consequences of urban development and hard engineering have been concerning stakeholders in the reserve for years. This is particularly true for stakeholders based at the rural village of Ponta do Ouro, which is where most of the tourism-related economy originates from. This paper provides a chronological analysis of stakeholders’ views of development and its putative effects on the economic, social and environmental future of the PPMR, with Ponta do Ouro as the main case study. Using a qualitative research approach, the paper focusses on two forms of data collection, namely retrospective from previous studies in the reserve, and new from the case study. The stakeholders targeted include various members of the local community. Stakeholders’ discussions revolve around two forms of development, namely the construction of a highway connecting the capital of Mozambique with Ponta do Ouro, which was completed in 2018, and the construction of a deep sea port in the reserve, which has been proposed over several decades. The findings of the research are used to highlight the importance of bottom-up approaches in marine and coastal governance, the problems stemming from top-down initiatives which do not take into account local contexts from various angles, and the importance of sustainable development planning for the future of conservation and livelihoods in marine reserves.

Communities and Coasts: Contrasting Perceptions Surrounding the Rezoning of Africa's Oldest MPA
Ella-Kari Muhl

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can be crucial for sustainable marine governance. However, they are only effective if designed to consider how people interact with the coasts and seas designated for protection. In South Africa, MPAs created prior to 1994 under the oppressive Apartheid regime largely disregarded marginalized communities’ rights to the coast and removed access entirely, with no consultation. However, in December 2016, the Tsitsikamma National Park MPA was rezoned from a ‘no-take’ to a partially open protected area with the aim of re-addressing these historical injustices and to provide equitable access and benefits to adjacent communities. However, past marginalization has changed how communities interact and access the coast, and limited consultation has increased the tension between the regulating authority and the community. There has also been a subsequent national outcry from the public, conservation non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives, fisheries scientists and marine biologists who view the re-zoning as politically motivated, and detrimental towards marine conservation objectives. This research therefore critically examines the different perceptions of stakeholders towards the rezoning of Africa’s oldest marine protected area, the Tsitsikamma National Park MPA. To do so, it draws on 56 semi-structured key informant interviews from the nine different communities adjacent to the Tsitsikamma MPA, scientists, NGO and government officials, as well as a focus group with eight representatives from South African National Parks. The research highlights the challenge of balancing community needs with conservation goals in a rapidly changing marine context, the opposition and inequity emerging to undermine opportunities for sustainable outcomes (social and ecological), and the need for governance of MPAs in South Africa that is reflective of the human rights that must underpin efforts to achieve biological goals.

Rethinking Marine Protected Area Governance in South Africa
Merle Sowman, Philile Mbatha and Ella Kari-Muhl

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a tool for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management are under the spotlight in South Africa following the proclamation of 20 new MPAs in October 2018 and plans to increase protection of marine areas to 10% of the EEZ by 2033. While many of the new MPAs are offshore, some are contiguous to the coast and affect coastal communities. Coastal communities have become increasingly vociferous in their demands for access to resources and traditional fishing areas claiming that current governance approaches disregard their human rights and livelihood needs. They are critical of the state-centric and natural science-based approach that dominates the governance of these areas. Drawing on research conducted in four MPAs in South Africa, this paper examines how current governance approaches have led to discontent, contestations, conflict and alienation of resource users from marine conservation efforts. In particular, the paper focuses on the mismatches between coastal communities and other governance actors with respect to visions, worldviews, values, images and perceptions of MPAs. While the devastating impact of South Africa’s political history is evident in all cases, other factors that inhibit meaningful change and the formation of governance systems that are supported and respected are highlighted. These include the persistence of a top-down, technocratic and natural science-based approaches; divergent principles, values, worldviews, images and perceptions amongst governance actors; institutional mismatches including the approach to planning and managing MPAs, law enforcement and failure to recognise and respect local and customary forms of governance. Lessons from this research offer insights into the underlying reasons for these mismatches, identify mechanisms for dealing with redress of past injustices and propose a set of principles and approaches for transforming MPA governance in South Africa that places communities front and centre of conservation efforts.

Friday June 28, 2019 10:15 - 11:45 CEST
REC A2.10 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam