Building Partnership Capacity for the Collaborative Management of Marine Protected Areas in the UK: A Preliminary Analysis

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"This paper reports the findings of a preliminary analysis of fifteen case studies of inshore marine protected areas in the UK. It draws on the common-pool resource (CPR) literature and is premised on the thesis that building partnership capacity amongst relevant authorities and resource users provides a critical basis for overcoming collective action problems (CAPs), through the development of incentive structures and social capital, in order to achieve strategic objectives. Particular attention is paid to the influence of statutory marine biodiversity conservation obligations to the European Commission for marine special areas of conservation (MSACs), as these are an important external contextual factor. The risks of imposition and parochialism are outlined and the challenges of taking a balanced approach are discussed. The challenges posed by the attributes of the marine environment are considered, as are those posed by the policy framework for MSACs. The findings are discussed in relation to three questions: (i) which partnership models appear to have the potential to overcome the CAPs posed by inshore MSACs? (ii) what CAPs had to be addressed during the early phase of development of the MSAC co-management regimes? (iii) what are the likely future CAPs for the collaborative management of MSACs that each partnership will need to address? These preliminary findings will form the basis for future studies to analyse the outcomes of these fifteen initiatives, in order to assess the strengths, in various contexts, of different approaches for building resilient and balanced, thereby effective, institutions for the co-management of MSACs in the UK."
protected areas--case studies, marine resources--case studies, common pool resources--case studies, collective action--case studies, institutions--case studies, biodiversity