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  • Titill er á ensku Evaluating the role of staff engagement in management effectiveness evaluations of marine protected areas
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Considerable effort is directed to the development and implementation of marine protected area (MPA) management plans, but unless the management measures identified in that plan achieve their intended goals, they may have little value in conserving and protecting the MPA’s resources and qualities. To evaluate whether the MPA is or is not achieving its management plan goals, a management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) of marine protected areas must be conducted. Through the MEE, both positive and negative experiences can be used as opportunities for learning, and continuous improvement can be combined with anticipation of future threats and opportunities. Today, there is a growing awareness in the Mediterranean MPA community that evaluating MPA management effectiveness, and applying the results of those evaluations, can help provide more effective protection of the Mediterranean coastal and marine resources. To evaluate management effectiveness, many different approaches and methodologies are used around the world and they vary considerably in their scale, depth, duration, and data collection methods. Therefore, built on past methodologies and the experience of Mediterranean MPA managers, a new MEE methodology has been developed to address the need for a standardized approach to MEE specifically adapted to the Mediterranean context. This “Guide for Quick Evaluation of Management in Mediterranean MPAs” (QEM-Med Guide) has been implemented in eight Mediterranean MPAs. Analysis of application of QEM-Med Guide in the eight testing MPAs have suggested that sharing the tool and its results is of outstanding importance, but sharing has not been achieved, which means that sharing is lacking and it must be improved. Therefore, this thesis specifically evaluates the role of staff engagement in the MEE process through an online follow-up survey that assessed and evaluated the experience of the people involved in the implementation and coordination of the QEM-Med Guide. The purpose of this study was to determine if greater active MPA staff engagement in MEE process can improve its implementation efficiency, facilitate and encourage the sharing of results, and create a culture of evaluation that promotes and values evaluation as an ongoing and essential part of implementation of a site management plan. The results of this research offer support to the idea that there should be greater active engagement of MPA staff in the MEE process and it should not be the work of a few people. Findings suggest that greater active MPA staff engagement in evaluation may lead to more efficient and effective implementation of such MPA evaluation processes. This also may be done through establishing and nurturing a culture of evaluation that expands opportunities for sharing information and ideas among the MPA staff regarding evaluating and improving management effectiveness. Additionally, greater staff engagement can start building social capital where MPA staff and stakeholders can then collectively foster an atmosphere conducive to greater collaboration and social learning. This can, in turn, increase resiliency and adaptability of marine protected area governance.

  • 26.8.2014

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