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Marine protected areas in the UK: challenges in combining top-down and bottom-up approaches to governance

  • PETER J. S. JONES (a1)
Abstract
SUMMARY

This review outlines the policy frameworks for marine conservation zones (MCZs) and marine special areas of conservation (SACs), which are the main components of the emerging UK marine protected area (MPA) network. If current recommendations are implemented, the coverage of MPAs in English seas could rise to 27%. The governance challenges that this will raise are explored through case studies of MPA initiatives in south-west England. Whilst the initial processes by which MCZ recommendations have been developed provided for stakeholder participation (bottom-up), the main steer has been from central government (top-down). The subsequent designation and implementation of MCZs is likely to be more top-down. Marine SAC processes have, by contrast, been top-down from the outset. The fishing industry fears that more MPAs will lead to increasing restrictions, whilst conservationists fear that MPAs will not be sufficiently protected, potentially becoming paper MPAs. Both argue that the burden of proof should be placed on the other party. Such combinations of top-down (central government-led) and bottom-up (community and user-led) approaches and the related conflicts are typical of government-led MPAs in temperate countries that have higher governance capacities. Top-down approaches tend to dominate, but this does not mean that they cannot be combined with bottom-up approaches.

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Copyright
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <http://creativecommons.org/licensesw/by-nc-sa/2.5/>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Dr Peter Jones e-mail: P.J.Jones@ucl.ac.uk
Linked references
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

T. Appleby & P.J.S. Jones (2012) The marine and coastal access act. A hornets’ nest? Marine Policy 36: 7377.

P.J.S. Jones (2001) Marine protected area strategies: issues, divergences and the search for middle ground. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 11 (3): 197216

P.J.S. Jones (1999) Marine nature reserves in Britain: past lessons, current status and future issues. Marine Policy 23 (4–5): 375396.

P.J.S. Jones (2008) Fishing industry and related perspectives on the issues raised by no-take marine protected area proposals. Marine Policy 32 (4): 749758.

P.J.S. Jones (2009) Equity, justice and power issues raised by no-take marine protected area proposals. Marine Policy 33 (5): 759765.

S.E. Lester & B.S. Halpern (2008) Biological responses in marine no-take reserves versus partially protected areas. Marine Ecology Progress Series 367: 4956.

T. Roberts & P.J.S Jones (2009) Shellfishing, eider ducks and nature conservation on the Wash: questions raised by a fractured partnership. Society and Natural Resources 22 (6): 538553.

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Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
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