Marine ecosystem services, including fisheries, coastal protection, and marine tourism, play a critical role in the economies of many developing countries, contributing to livelihoods and food security for millions, even as threats to healthy oceans increase. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key strategies for sustaining the delivery of critical marine ecosystem services, but recent reviews have revealed wide variation in ecological and social outcomes. Our SESYNC Pursuit is an interdisciplinary research initiative to compile, integrate, and analyze governance, biophysical, and social data from MPAs across the globe. We are piloting methods and approaches for this work as we collate and synthesize relevant social, ecological, and biophysical secondary data. Awareness of the importance of marine ecosystem services is growing, as is the recognition that better governance of social-ecological systems is critical to sustainability.
Our interdisciplinary collaborative research team (CRT) will uncover the links between MPA governance and ecosystem structure, function, and services. We will develop and widely distribute an open-source MPA monitoring database to MPA managers, who often struggle to effectively store, manage, process, and analyze monitoring data, especially in developing countries. Widespread adoption of this database would establish a new standard for increasingly rigorous monitoring of MPAs, empowering MPA managers and fostering adaptive management. Through the synthesis of existing information that links MPA governance, ecosystem services, and human well-being, novel insights will emerge that advance fundamental scientific knowledge and inform local-to-global policy and practice.
Our Pursuit participants span various professions, institutions, ethnicities, and career levels, including representatives from academic, governmental, non-governmental, and private sectors. Their diverse backgrounds include biologists and ecologists, anthropologists, economists and other social scientists, and database and decision support specialists.
- Blog: Solving the Mystery of MPA Performance
- Resources: Solving the Mystery of MPA Performance
- Summary: Working Group 1
|Resource Title||Brief Summary|
|Calculate Fetch and Wave Energy||
Jan 15, 2017
R package to calculate fetch length and wave energy
|Capacity shortfalls hinder the performance of marine protected areas globally||
Mar 22, 2017
Article published in Nature as part of the Solving the Mystery of Marine Protected Area (MPA) Performance Project.
|A novel framework for analyzing conservation impacts: Evaluation, theory, and marine protected areas||
Jul 18, 2017
Article published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.