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A socioecological resilience approach for evaluating management effectiveness of marine protected areas
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  • Corporate Authors:
    Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) ; Coral Reef Conservation Program (U.S.) ;
  • Description:
    "Coral reefs worldwide need urgent conservation action because of their high level of degradation and susceptibility. This conservation priority is more urgent in the face of current global change events, which obscure the possibility for understanding the socio--ecological systems (SESs) complex dynamics, and limits the management effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). To improve MPAs' effectiveness in a context of climate change and crescent anthropogenic pressures, it is necessary the use of a holistic approach that facilitates the understanding of the social and ecological relationships and helps to determine current state and potential risk faced by coral reefs SESs. In the present study we formulate an integrative model based on socioecological resilience approach to assess the management effectiveness of two MPAs located in the Southern Caribbean (Colombia). By using indexes to estimate Resilience and Human--Intervention, which are made up by indicators that reflect the social and ecological status of the system, we are able to detect specific conservation strategies and action plans to improve resilience, based on the particular conditions of the MPAs. We found that both MPAs are in a risk state characterized by low resilience and high human intervention; however, the level of risk faced differs between the two MPAs . By identifying binding indicators and variables, we show that this model might be an appropriate tool for decision--makers and reserve managers as it provides insights not only about the current status of the SESs at the MPAs, but also about what elements of the SESs should be addressed for improving MPA's protection effectiveness while mitigating the vulnerability of coral reefs ecosystems and local communities"--Abstract.

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