Article

Assessing public "participation" in environmental decision-making: Lessons learned from the UK Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) site selection process

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Abstract

As part of implementing the 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act (MCAA), the UK Government undertook an ambitious program of stakeholder-led site selection projects from 2009-2011 to designate a network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). This process resulted in a list of 127 proposed MCZs designed to conserve biodiversity and reconcile socioeconomic concerns, however, citing budgetary constraints and evidence-related issues, the UK Government has proceeded with a tranche approach, designating far fewer sites than stakeholders had expected. Concerned with the Government's lack of progress on the MCZ process, Parliament conducted two inquiries, highlighting problems with the Government's approach. In addition, public confidence in the participative process has eroded, with particular despair expressed by participants in the regional projects, who invested considerable time and effort in the site-selection process. This outcome has implications not only for the UK's future coastal and marine planning, but also with regard to the implementation of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. Drawing on interviews with participants in the consultation process, this paper examines the role of stakeholder participation in the UK MCZ site selection process, in particular how well the UK Government implemented its obligations under the Aarhus Convention, and the meaning of "participation" in a climate of political change and budgetary constraint.

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... Unfortunately, it is not unusual for MPAs to be designated without clear management plans in place, this is not just an issue for high seas management. For example, during the design and implementation of a network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) throughout its EEZ, the UK proceeded with designating sites without having management measures in place or even on the table for stakeholders to examine [43]. However, a post-facto approach to management makes it difficult for those involved in deciding where and how much to protect without knowing what activities will be restricted. ...
... In the UK MCZ example, none of the sites implemented to date are completely no-take, off-limits to resource extraction. If the parties involved in selecting sites for the network had known this would be the case from the start, it may have affected their decision-making with respect to site locations and boundaries/sizes [27,43]. This is an important issue that needs to be decided prior to the development of a regime for MPAs and ABMTs in ABNJ: should we select areas first and then design management measures later? ...
... Both the Californian and UK processes involved extensive partnership and collaboration with a range of stakeholders, who were directly involved in site selection proposals. Unfortunately, due to political and economic considerations, as well as problems with interpreting the scientific evidence underpinning the sites, the UK MCZ network has not yet been completed (and does not include any of the recommended Reference Areas, or no-take zones), and consequently a great deal of public trust and social capital has been lost [43]. Unpacking stakeholder perceptions of the process, a few problems are obvious in hindsight, namely a lack of clear objectives for how these sites would be managed (i.e. ...
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Area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs) are widely recognized as a key mechanism for conserving and restoring biodiversity. The developing international legally-binding instrument (ILBI) on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) is considering a range of approaches to ABMTs. While the process is still in early stages, this paper looks ahead to anticipate implementation challenges for ABMTs, given previous experiences with regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and high seas MPAs. Drawing on the implementation of MPAs under the OSPAR Convention and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources (CCAMLR), key suggestions revolve around: (1) improving the evidence basis for protecting BBNJ, (2) designing effective compliance and enforcement mechanisms, and (3) engaging adequately with relevant stakeholders. In addition to the case studies, which are primarily marine pollution and fishing-oriented, considerations related to mitigating the effects of deep sea mining and the harvesting of marine genetic resources are also touched upon.
... However, critiques have emerged about the effectiveness of some of the MPAs, particularly the larger (i.e., greater than 2000 km 2 ) sites and their ability to meet conservation objectives (Westhead et al. 2012;De Santo 2013;Bennett et al. 2015;Callanan 2018;Dehens and Fanning 2018). Greater transparency than commonly applied and genuine consultation in planning and implementation processes are increasingly important issues for MPAs (De Santo 2016). In other consultations leading to designation of Canadian MPAs, several participants voiced concerns about the adequacy of the processes: "we have been disappointed by the level of consultation or the effectiveness of the consultation process to date, and we are troubled by some of the science"; "DFO comes out and announces an area of interest without any consultation whatsoever," and "they [DFO] are building a lack of trust" (Canada. ...
... Despite an increase in the availability of information about MPA designation processes and associated socioeconomic and ecological data during consultations (DFO 1999;Agardy et al. 2003;De Santo and Jones 2007;Day 2017), few studies have been undertaken to understand the actual role of such information within the processes (Agardy 2000;Lundquist and Granek 2005;Pietri et al. 2009;De Santo 2016;Markantonatou et al. 2016). Because information may influence people's attitudes and decisions (Choo 2006;Choo 2017;Jennings 2019;Kahlor et al. 2020), understanding its function within the context of marine conservation is critical (Wilkins et al. 2018). ...
... The growing literature on meaningful consultation during conservation planning consistently emphasizes the importance of the following components: (i) trust, (ii) accounting for local community context, (iii) stakeholder ownership, (iv) appropriate timing, and (v) the provision of accurate information to relevant parties (Reed 2008;Reyers et al. 2010;Ritchie and Ellis 2010;Gopnik et al. 2012;Orr 2014;De Santo 2016;Markantonatou et al. 2016;Sterling et al. 2017;Reed et al. 2018). The last point is a relatively new and underexplored area of research, i.e., understanding the role of information within stakeholder consultation and conservation planning processes. ...
Article
Canada has expanded its marine protected area (MPA) coverage in line with the Aichi Biodiversity Target of protecting 10% of its marine territory by 2020. In 2018, a consultation process was launched to designate an Area of Interest surrounding the Eastern Shore Islands area off the coast of Nova Scotia, as the potential 15th Oceans Act MPA in Canada ( DFO 2021a ). This region has a fraught history with external conservation interventions and, consequently, there was a significant level of local mistrust in the process. This study explored the role of information in the consultation process and how it interplayed with the historical context, political pressures, trust, and mistrust among stakeholders and rightsholders. Drawing on interviews, a detailed desktop analysis, and participant observation at consultation meetings, this paper describes what worked well and what could be improved with respect to the sources of information used and the channels through which stakeholders and rightsholders accessed it. This case study demonstrates that while preferences for information sources and channels are context specific and varied, they are inherently personal and influenced by shared histories, trust, and individual beliefs.
... W ITH the rapid development and application of science and technology, such as e-democracy [1], social networks [2], [3], and public participation [6], more and more decision makers (DMs) are involved in decision-making problems. This has led to large scale group decision making (LSGDM) problems to become a hotspot [7]- [10], [42], [43]. ...
... Definition 10: Let H ϕ = (h ij,ϕ ) n ×n , and H = (h ij ) n ×n be the individual preferences and collective opinion, respectively, and DL (ϕ) as calculated by (6). Then the DM's ORI is given by ...
... The d(f (C s ), f(C s )) denotes the distance between f (C s ) and f (C s ), which can be obtained by (6). Other symbols that have the same formula as d(f (C s ), f(C s )) and f (C s ) also share the similar meaning to them. ...
Article
Recently, large scale group decision making (LSGDM) problems are becoming a hotspot. This paper focuses on the hesitant fuzzy LSGDM problems, where decision makers (DMs) use hesitant fuzzy reciprocal preference relations (HFPRs) to express their assessment information. HFPRs can represent the fuzziness and hesitancy of DM assessment information well. To improve the efficiency of hesitant fuzzy LSGDM problems, we first propose a reliability index-based consensus reaching process (RI-CRP). By assessing the ordinal consistency of DM's assessment information and measuring the deviation from collective opinion, the DM's opinion reliability index is given. To avoid unreliable information, we propose an unreliable DM management method to be used in the RI-CRP, based on the computation of DM's opinion reliability index. Moreover, an alternative ranking-based clustering (ARC) method with HFPRs is proposed to improve the efficiency of the RI-CRP. The similarity index between two DMs' opinions is provided, to ensure the ARC method can be effectively implemented. Compared with those clustering methods which need to preset several correlated parameters, the presented ARC method is more objective with a different approach based on the alternative ranking. A numerical example shows that the proposed ARC method and the RI-CRP are feasible and effective for hesitant fuzzy LSGDM problems.
... Youth groups and platforms at local, national and international levels enable discussion and foster advocacy. This trend is coupled with a wider movement for greater public participation and stewardship of environmental resources [4][5][6][7] (e.g. in EU environmental decision-making 1 , support for a Citizen's Assembly for Europe, 23 and in line with the Aarhus Convention [8]). ...
... From the international to the local level, there is now a plethora of youth groups (e.g. Climate 2050 Group, 4 Global Youth Action Network), young professional networks (UN Youth Advocacy Group, 5 Youth Innovation Forum on Plastic Pollution, 6 Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 7 ), youth focused initiatives (e.g. Youth Empowerment Project 8  and UN Strategy on Youth [42]) and youth advocacy icons (e.g. ...
... The survey results underline the need to improve access to information about Scotland's marine environment: over a third of respondents did not feel well informed about the issues affecting Scotland's seas and there was notable disparity in the ease of access to information among respondents. De Santo [6] notes that making communication accessible to a public audience can be just as important as the volume and content of information provided. It is likely that respondents who are undertaking a maritime internship, job or education and those with environmental NGO membership are likely to have greater access to information. ...
Article
There is a growing movement to involve young people in decision making for the marine environment, with a wider trend towards public participation and greater accountability of environmental governance. Young people will inherit the consequences of decisions made today. In this paper, the authors provide an initial exploration of young people’s views, awareness and participation (current and potential) in decisions and strategies for the marine environment, using Scotland as a case study. These discussions are based on the results of a survey of young people (aged 11–26) in Scotland, appraising levels of understanding and engagement with marine issues and exploring barriers to and opportunities for improved participation. This is set in the context of (a) the growth of local, national and global platforms for young people to express their views, and (b) the aspiration of many governments to empower the public, communities and young people in public decision making and marine stewardship. Education and ocean-literacy initiatives have a role to play, but there is also an aspiration for engagement mechanisms that accelerate a more fundamental rebalancing in public process to safeguard environmental integrity (and therefore economic and social well-being) for future generations. The authors conclude that marine planning, specifically the development of regional marine plans in Scotland, can provide a mechanism to integrate young people’s views and needs into marine decision making.
... Members of the regulatory community also recognized they could have done a better job of communicating the need for MPAs and the science behind them during the selection process, recognizing that while a lot of information was made available, that didn't necessarily mean it was accessible to a wider audience. Participants involved in the UK MCZ process were also uncertain about how much priority would be given to the Regional Projects' recommendations, after they were opened to wider public consultation, 19. and whether their recommendations really mattered, given "decisions were still being made behind closed doors, and stakeholders knew it", as a member of the regulatory community put it (De Santo, 2016). Additionally, during the period when the sites were being evaluated by the SAP and then re-evaluated, very little was communicated to stakeholders, regardless of how much busy activity was going on behind the scenes, which led to a feeling of perceived opacity in the process on the part of the public. ...
... Additionally, during the period when the sites were being evaluated by the SAP and then re-evaluated, very little was communicated to stakeholders, regardless of how much busy activity was going on behind the scenes, which led to a feeling of perceived opacity in the process on the part of the public. Thus, while social capital was built up in the iterative and interactive site nomination process, it was arguably lost when the Government moved forward with the first tranche of sites (De Santo, 2016). ...
... Fourth, decisions and/or policies should be achieved in an open and transparent manner. Despite good intentions, the UK MCZ consultation was not very transparent, especially after the 127 proposed sites had been submitted, and the stakeholders who had been very involved in suggesting the sites were not kept well informed about the process (De Santo, 2016). In contrast, the California process was arguably much more transparent and participatory, with Science Advisory Team meetings open to the public, and science-related decisions made in a public forum (Saarman et al., 2013). ...
Article
In response to direct and indirect pressures on the marine environment posed by increased development and climate change, the international community has been planning and implementing networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in national waters. This paper critically assesses the role of evidence in marine conservation planning in the United Kingdom (UK), a process that drew heavily on the example set by California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) planning process. Whereas a science advisory panel played a constructive role and facilitated MPA planning in the Californian context, the outcome in the UK was quite different; evidence became a sticking point hampering the process. The actual designation of sites in the UK has been slower than expected, and none of the Reference Areas (i.e., no-take MPAs) proposed by stakeholder-led consultations have been implemented. Drawing on interviews with participants in the UK process and on theoretical debates surrounding evidence-based decision-making, this paper provides recommendations for effective science-driven marine conservation.
... The need to improve the status of the marine environment, whilst balancing complex socio-economic and political interests is a documented facet of MPA implementation in Europe [29]. The inclusion of stakeholders and resource users in the MPA process is important to the eventual effectiveness of MPAs, [37,58], recognising that policy can fail through a lack of public engagement and a reluctance of decision makers and stakeholders to work together [61]. Consultation and the right to participate in environmental decision-making, is in many countries a democratic requirement by law or policy (as it is in the EU under the Aarhus Convention), with the ultimate decision-making power and funding decisions retained by the government [16]. ...
... Two things will be essential in the on-going Scottish MPA process for a successful management approach and stakeholder relations: the first is continued effective engagement with stakeholders and the second is transparency and accountability over decisionmaking [33]. Previous protected area processes not having a high level of openness have engendered suspicion and distrust from communities [8]; concerns of both the level of transparency, the representativeness of stakeholders and the lack of influence have been raised in the English MCZ process (see Fletcher et al. [22], Gaymer et al. [25] and De Santo [61]). ...
... The UK has recently seen a considerable expansion in the number and area of Marine Protected Areas [5]. With the expansion of the number of MPAs from those representing small locations considered for the preservation of individual habitats or species, the UK has embarked on a wholescale increase in ambition for the role of MPAs, i.e. to deliver protection for ecosystems [17,22,26]. ...
... But the growth in MPA measures from individual sites to networks of sites is often fraught, necessitates top-down legislation and policy that can result in difficulties in maintaining the confidence, inclusion (though co-management) and aspirations of local stakeholders [13,14,22,29]. Very much part of the picture is that of the provision of accurate data under which designation and management decisions for sites can be confidently achieved, and widely recognised in their validity [5,23]. Coincidentally, the UK is still suffering the lasting effects of the banking crisis of 2008, an ensuing reduction in the size of the state, its assets and functions [32]. ...
Article
The UK network of Marine Protected Areas and the application of management measures to protect conservation features has grown over the past decade. Bodies that regulate activities within MPAs require advice from 'statutory' conservation bodies. Therefore to assess the developing MPA networks resilience it is important to assess the ability of bodies to provide effective conservation advice. Thus 'Natural England' officers were interviewed to assess their ability to provide scientific advice on the impacts of operations in English MPAs. Results highlight the opinions of UK statutory conservation advisors to be able to provide concrete evidence on the impact of MPA designations and management measures. Response scores were ranked from 1 to 5, with 1 representing a low score, and 5, high. For governance, there was a very positive response to the structures in place to provide conservation advice (4.5). However, in terms of the finance available to provide adequate scientific advice, responses scored lower at 3.1. The majority of NE respondents believe the budget available for 'feature condition assessment' to be insufficient for the current MPA network, with most advice derived from 'expert judgement' based on the precautionary principle rather than site-based observation of 'cause-and-effect' from different human activities. Yet although budgets are a problem, the relationship between Natural England and local fisheries regulators is very healthy, resulting in better joined-up communication over management measures applied to stakeholders. Hence this research recommends the development of private-public partnerships (co-management initiatives) to reduce costs, bring in affected stakeholders and their assets, and improve trust.
... (OECD, 2020, p. 19) Por eso un aspecto esencial para el buen manejo de las ANP es la participación social que se ha venido cristalizando de manera progresiva, y si bien de acuerdo con Riemann, Santes-Álvarez y Pombo (2011), "no hay garantía de que esas manifestaciones sean secundadas por su inclusión en el esquema decisorio formal, mucho menos que deriven en acciones de beneficio social amplio" (p. 155), Santo (2016) señala que los actores sociales deben ser incorporados al proceso de toma de decisiones de un ANP desde el inicio de su proyección, definiendo con claridad sus objetivos y dotándolos de fuertes bases científicas, ecológicas y sociales, en un proceso institucionalizado instrumentado como una política pública donde el papel del gobierno no sea sólo procedimental, sino también negociador para que erija una ratificación institucional colegiada. ...
... Por tal razón el sector público debe integrar a la ciudadanía en la gestión de los asuntos colectivos. Bennett y Dearden (2014) sostienen que las AMP pueden beneficiar a las comunidades integradas empoderándolas y conduciéndolas a beneficios sociales, educativos, culturales y a una mejor gobernanza, para lo cual se requiere que el gobierno vincule a los actores interesados (Santo, 2016), de manera que se sopese con precisión el impacto negativo que se pueda producir y se prevea el tipo de acción necesaria para evitar los conflictos que puedan presentarse. Lo anterior permite que se efectúe un proceso de retroalimentación entre los actores interesados, de modo que puedan establecerse medidas equilibradas de conservación y que el PM se construya con una base de consenso que armonice la convivencia entre dichos actores y pueda establecer objetivos comunes. ...
Article
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Con el objetivo de generar propuestas que robustezcan la gobernanza ambiental, en el presente artículo se estudia la participación social en la gestión del Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Islas Golfo de California. A partir de observación directa y de entrevistas semiestructuradas a 29 actores, se analizó la percepción de funcionarios, especialistas y usuarios respecto a dicha participación en el marco de una indagación con enfoque cualitativo. La mayor limitante para el análisis fue el rechazo abierto de algunos usuarios de esta área protegida a ser entrevistados por desconfianza a las entidades públicas. Da originalidad al artículo la recopilación de experiencias y percepciones de actores directos en la gestión del área mencionada. Se concluye que la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas carece de credibilidad ante la organización social como resultado de una instrumentación vertical de sus estrategias sin considerar de manera efectiva la participación de las comunidades afectadas.
... They also show that fisher LEK can identify ecological disturbance and improve ecological health and that supporting sustainable activities is more important than supporting those that are more profitable. designed disconnection from communities breaches 'public participation in decision-making' obligations of the Aarhus Convention (De Santo, 2016). Additionally, certain types of scientific knowledge dominate decisions, thereby leaving fisher LEK of the benthos out of the process. ...
... A successful transition to ecosystem-based management requires decisions in tune with feedback from the impact of human activities. This transition is best achieved by having multispatial scale institutions, thus mirroring the complexity of the ecosystems being addressed (Wilson, 2006;De Santo, 2016). The article identifies that decision-making over marine licensing is the real forum where changes can be made. ...
... Thus, the overconfidence behaviors detection and management of experts in real GDM problems is still an interesting topic for the future. In addition, with the rapid development of science and technology, such as e-democracy [38], social networks [39,40], and public participation [41], more and more decision makers are involved in decision making. This suggests large scale group decision making (LSGDM) will become a research hotspot [42][43][44][45][46][47][48]. ...
Article
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Self-confidence as one of the human psychological behaviors has important influence on emergency management decision making, which has been ignored in existing methods. To fill this gap, we dedicate to design a group decision making approach considering self-confidence behaviors and apply it to the environmental pollution emergency management. In the proposed method, the self-confident fuzzy preference relations are utilized to express experts’ evaluations. This new type of preference relations allow experts to express multiple self-confidence levels when providing their evaluations, which can deal with the self-confidence of them well. To apply the proposed group decision making method to environmental pollution emergency management, a novel determination of the decision weights of experts is given combining the subjective and objective weights. The subjective weight can be directly assigned by organizer, while the objective weight is determined by the self-confidence degree of experts on their evaluations. Afterwards, by utilizing the weighted averaging operator, the individuals’ evaluations can be aggregated into a collective one. To do that, some operational laws for self-confident fuzzy preference relations are introduced. And then, a self-confidence score function is designed to get the best solution for environmental pollution emergency management. Finally, some analyses and discussions show that the proposed method is feasible and effective.
... The Brownfield redevelopment projects in the United States were also researched to assess the public's views and acceptability, and influencing factors including citizen's empowerment, the participation process, and participants' roles [47,48]. De Santo found from the process of site selection of the Marine Conservation Zone in Britain that participants file lawsuits to defend their rights when the government's commitment to public participation is inconsistent with the final decision [49]. ...
Article
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Public participation in environmental decision-making (EDM) has been broadly discussed. However, few recent studies in English have focused on the participation subject, scope, ways, and procedure in the EDM of developing countries such as China in the worldwide governance transformation. This study aims to provide an overview of public participation in EDM in China, thus elucidating both the legislation and practice of public participation in EDM in China to a broader audience, as such an overview has not yet been provided. At the beginning of this article, we clarify the key definitions of EDM, public participation and the public, and establish an analytical framework for analyzing public participation in EDM in China. We analyze the scope of the public, the participation scope, ways of participating, and participation procedure in EDM in legislation and practice, through document analysis and empirical survey. We then comment on challenges for public participation in EDM in China—including low public participation in EDM, narrow scope of participation, unbalanced ways of participation, and unreasonable participation procedure. In conclusion, we draw wider implications for public participation in EDM in China, arguing for a transformation from a decision-maker-oriented mode to a collaboration mode.
... There is extensive literature on the importance of stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making and problem solving, given such issues are complex with a high degree of uncertainty (Santo, 2016;Reed, https://doi.org /10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.12.021 ...
... This is evidenced by the growing number of ENGOs, which civil society engage to act on their behalf in environmental decision making (De Santo 2016). ENGOs have been seen in this context, to be active participants and contributors to the widening view of democracy, by increasing public participation in environmental decision making to the benefit of the public at large (De Santo 2016). In contrast, the mode of engagement and participation selected by governments, particularly "consultation", is increasingly met with cynicism, mistrust and citizens feeling disenfranchised with outcomes not reflective of their views (Voyer et al., 2012). ...
Article
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Sustainable development principles are based on the fundamental recognition of humans as an integral part of the ecosystem. Participation of civil society should therefore be central to marine planning processes and enabling ecosystem-based management, and development of mechanisms for effective participation is critical. To date, little attention has been given to the role of Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (ENGOs) in public participation. In this paper, the results of two workshops, which involved various stakeholders and addressed public participation in marine planning, are reported and discussed in the context of the Scottish marine planning process. ENGOs’ role in communicating complex policies, representing members’ interests and contributing towards participatory governance in marine planning is highlighted. Innovative outreach methods are still required by decision-makers to translate technical information, integrate local knowledge, improve public representation and conserve resources. This could include collaboration with ENGOs to help promote public participation in decision-making processes.
... It is suggested that more coherent GES definitions (see Ref. [31] and management measures across regions will reduce uncertainty among those economic sectors whose activities span geopolitical boundaries. Moreover, a more transparent stakeholder engagement process should be set both at European and at regional level to give all the parties affected by this Directive the opportunities to share their views and concerns (see Refs. [32][33][34]. ...
Article
Several initiatives have been taken worldwide to promote international coordination and integrated approach in marine management. At the European level, ten years after the adoption of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Member State strategies still present some ecological, economic and social challenges. This review identifies the minor, intermediate and major impediments (respectively defined as ‘bottlenecks, showstoppers and train-wrecks’) to marine management, resulting from a 4-year analysis of national, regional and European reports. Most of the problems are linked to the resistance of countries to collaborate and to the inability to integrate the work already carried out under other pieces of legislation. The European countries will need to better integrate and coordinate their actions in marine management in the second cycle of the MSFD, in order to achieve its final goal of Good Environmental Status as well as the objectives of other environmental policies.
... The impacts of MCAA have been explored from a variety of perspectives; ecosystem protection, stakeholder engagement, marine spatial planning, highly protected marine reserves [12], failures of participatory processes to advance MCZs [13]; efficacy of inshore fisheries co-management [14,15]; satisfaction of stakeholders in fisheries comanagement amongst English Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) [16] and failures to significantly reduce the complexity of English marine management structures [17]. Future developments are also analysed with respect to the UK. ...
Article
This paper is based on a qualitative study undertaken between April 2016 and February 2017 of key informants and secondary documents concerned with the management of the Welsh marine environment in the pre and post Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) (MCAA) era. Since taking over direct responsibility for the Welsh marine environment, the Welsh Government has failed to integrate fisheries management and marine conservation as effectively as has been achieved by relevant English authorities, particularly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs). A key contributing factor to this failure is that, whilst MCAA created a clear statutory framework for England's IFCAs, Welsh Government resisted the imposition of similar management duties for Wales, and, subsequently, the National Assembly for Wales has not used its legislative powers to create a suitably robust Welsh regime. Furthermore, the suspension in 2016 of the stakeholder ‘Inshore Fisheries Groups’ has partly dismantled the relatively weak co-management regime in Wales. Although the Welsh Marine Fisheries Advisory Group remains, its scope has been much reduced. Post MCAA, the Welsh system has centralised decision making, creating a more remote and less responsive management structure than had existed previously.
... Further research into interstitial recovery should be conducted to allow adequate legitimate protection under SAC objectives. With use of evidence and the precautionary principle a prominent theme in the designation of MCZs [26], Lyme Bay has the potential to feed into wider arguments and debates. ...
Article
The Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG) framework can be used to analyse MPA governance by moving away from conceptual discussions to focus on particular governance approaches leading to effectiveness. The framework was applied to the Lyme Bay MPA, southwest England, the site of a controversial fisheries closure, which has subsequently been proposed as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as well the location for an NGO-led project focusing on stakeholder engagement. This paper examines a broad range of perspectives on the governance of this MPA, via semi-structured interviews with representatives of different interest groups and document analyses. The MPAG framework found a governance structure with a diversity of incentives, providing for bottom-up stakeholder engagement and awareness-raising coupled with strong top-down legislative structures. Although the fisheries closure and subsequent SAC restrictions have provided the main mechanisms for protecting biodiversity, an NGO-led project has provided a complement to the legislative framework and helped to facilitate a mechanism for adaptive co-management. However, the site is predicted to be subject to external pressures from changes in legislation, state resource restrictions and reduced NGO involvement, which will test the resilience of the structure and whether such a diversity of incentives provides sufficient resilience to maintain MPA effectiveness in the face of these pressures.
... Nutters and Pinto da Silva [46] found a mismatch between expectations and outcomes in fishermen's experiences in MSP, noting that this derived from "mixed messages" regarding the role and involvement of stakeholders and indicating that "clear communication about the purpose of participation" could help address this issue. Mismanaged stakeholder expectations were also identified as a problem by De Santo [16] in a study of the UK's Marine Conservation Zone siting process. These studies show that mismatched and mismanaged stakeholder expectations of MSP and similar processes can lead to a decline in participation and public confidence in the process and a general sense of disillusionment and disappointment. ...
Article
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is an approach to marine governance and the management of marine space requiring extensive stakeholder participation and interagency and inter-organizational cooperation. While a rich literature and set of practitioner guidance on MSP has developed, few studies include empirical research or identify lessons learned based on practitioner experience. The authors conducted three case studies of MSP in Washington, San Francisco Bay, and Rhode Island, U.S., including 50 practitioner and stakeholder interviews, to identify practitioners’ lessons learned regarding stakeholder participation and inter-organizational cooperation. Findings were then shared with 43 practitioners at an MSP workshop to ensure lessons resonated with a broader practitioner community. The authors found that practitioners had learned the importance of using both formal and informal stakeholder participation methods; leveraging pre-existing relationships as a foundation for MSP; and setting and managing the expectations of both stakeholders and agency partners. Results point to the effectiveness of using pre-existing stakeholder forums to build informal authentic dialogue between participants, rather than establishing new advisory bodies to support MSP. Further, pre-existing groups and other pre-existing relationships and communication networks are an important source of social capital for MSP. Last, clear communication and transparency are important in setting and managing stakeholders’ and agency partners’ expectations for MSP. This paper concludes with recommendations for further empirical research into practitioners’ MSP experience, particularly in the U.S., and for a new generation of practitioner guidance based on research and including practical strategies to help practitioners work within the real-world constraints of politics and budgets.
... As discussed above, the case studies indicate that there are platforms for deliberations amongst stakeholders as part of the MPA processes, e.g. SW England MPAs [4], Dogger Bank [3], Skaggerak [12] and Wadden Sea [13], but that these are disconnected from the actual decision-making platforms, some arguing that such lack of participation breaches the 'public participation in decision-making' obligations of the Aarhus Convention [25]. This lack of influence on decisions is also leading some participants to become critical of the minimal influence of such tokenistic 'talking shops'. ...
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This paper explores the realities of marine spatial planning (MSP’ing), drawing on 12 case studies around Europe, employing a structured qualitative empirical approach. The findings indicate that (1) MSP’ing is often focused on achieving specific sectoral objectives, related to nationally important strategic priorities, and might better be termed ‘strategic sectoral planning’. (2) MSP’ing processes tend to be complex, fragmented and emergent on an ad hoc basis, rather than cyclical, adaptive and prescribed on an a priori basis. (3) Top-down processes tend to dominate, more participative platforms tending to be ‘disconnected by design’ from executive decision-making. (4) Blue growth is the dominant overall priority, often aligned with strategic sectoral priorities, despite growing indications that the target for Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020 is unlikely to be met. This is consistent with growing concerns about the tensions between the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Directive Establishing a Framework for Maritime Spatial Planning. It is concluded that the realities of how MSP’ing is working contrast with widely recognised concepts and ideals as to how MSP’ing should work, as integrated-use MSP’ing based on political expedience and blue growth priorities is diverging from and potentially competing with ecosystem-based MSP’ing, including marine protected area networks, based on GES priorities. It is argued that a more empirical approach should be taken to MSP’ing research, whereby conceptual approaches which integrate sustainable blue growth and GES co-evolve with marine spatial planning practices through critical analyses of whether the realities of MSP’ing are consistent with these concepts.
... The primary significance of this study lies in the research design and conceptual framework that emerged (Hazer Sancar, 1993). Public engagement in environmental decisionmaking is fundamental to any environmental planning process, and yet resource professionals often struggle to achieve desired levels of stakeholder participation in local decision-making (De Santo, 2016;Laurian, 2004;Mohai, 2017). This policy intention-action gap is often attributed to limited understanding and failure to integrate people's environmental attitudes, perceptions, motivations, and behavior into policy recommendations (Bronfman et al., 2015;Shumway et al., 2014). ...
Thesis
Successful community-based natural resource management should include both resource professionals and local communities. Recognizing this fact, my research seeks to encourage more locally adaptive and collaborative forest governance that facilitates sustainable development by enabling grassroots participation. Specifically, I explore opportunities for developing a more sustainable relationship between India's Joint Forest Management (JFM) program and rural forest-dependent communities in Sikkim-a remote, northeastern state of India bordering Nepal to the west, the Tibet Autonomous region of China to the north and northeast, and Bhutan to the southeast. As an instrument for sustainable forestry management, JFM seeks to develop partnerships between forest user groups and state forest department based on mutual trust and jointly defined roles and responsibilities regarding forest protection and management. Despite governmental claims of successful implementation of the program since its inception in 1998, JFM in Sikkim continues to face challenges. In response to various administrative, ecological, institutional, political, and technological barriers, JFM in Sikkim has been driven by external donors rather than by local communities, and has been oriented toward ecological targets to the near exclusion of social concerns. In a world where limited socioeconomic, financial, and institutional capacities present an ever-increasing threat to global conservation, appropriately targeted efforts to synchronize conservation ideals with community priorities is of utmost importance. For developing countries with limited economic resources and high biodiversity threats, this becomes even more relevant. The objective of my study was to discover ways to enable natural resource professionals and natural resource dependent communities to jointly develop locally relevant and adaptive problem solving approaches to forest management and conservation. To accomplish this goal, I conducted multi-sited ethnographic research, interviewing more than 250 members of rural, forest-dependent communities, natural resource professionals, members of local self-government institutions, NGOs, and other government officials between May 2014 and June 2016. While conducting fieldwork, I learned that JFM in Sikkim often has functioned as an agent of community destruction. The misalignment of state conservation strategies and the priorities of the human population resulted in exclusion of local human residents from conservation planning in the region. Excluding locals often escalated latent conflict and hampered desired conservation outcomes. Achieving just sustainability requires strategies that harmonize conservation priorities with diverse realities of local communities, particularly when local residents wield power to influence the success or failure of conservation initiatives. This requires moving beyond simply listening to local voices to actively incorporating local realities into conservation. Critical to this process, therefore, is the need for natural resource professionals to understand and deliberately foreground diverse stakeholder viewpoints, knowledge, needs, and preferences in natural resource management decisions. Worldviews shape how individuals perceive and interpret reality. Social control frames, or preferences regarding how society should be managed are integral to worldviews. Understanding these frames, I posit, can guide natural resource professionals to management options that are more socially acceptable and effective. In this study, I hypothesize that key sociodemographic (i.e., age, gender, generations in region, household size and composition, and principal occupation) and spatial (i.e., elevation, distance of household from nearest accessible road and from nearest statutory forest boundary) variables may play an important role in shaping an individual's social control frames. Results of my study demonstrate that a better understanding of how key demographic and spatial factors influence prevailing social control frames, can help resource professionals better understand what motivates individuals to accept or reject natural resource management programs, and bridge the schism between policy intent and action by developing more socially appropriate management strategies. As a first step toward incorporating people’s motivations and attitudes towards conservation efforts in East Sikkim, I conducted two workshops, the first of their kind in the region that provided a diverse group of stakeholders with a shared platform for interaction and constructive dialogue. Through soft system thinking exercises, the workshops promoted trust building and social learning, while encouraging participants to see themselves as active agents of a complex forest management process. This study provides a platform that encourages natural resource professionals and local community members to recognize and cultivate their mutual interdependence and appreciation through an iterative dialogue process. Through a dynamic collaborative learning process that recognizes plurality of stakeholder perspectives, it promises to open spaces previously held exclusively by resource professionals and introduce local forest-dependent communities as important contributors to participatory forest management in the region. Together, the results of the study suggest important directions towards understanding and prioritizing people’s motivations and attitudes towards community-based natural resource management efforts. This knowledge may serve as a valuable tool enabling natural resource professionals to bridge the schism between policy intent and action by formulating and implementing conservation plans that are both culturally appropriate and equipped to address the uncertainties of managing complex human-dominated systems across varied spatial and temporal scales.
... There is extensive literature on the importance of stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making and problem solving, given such issues are complex with a high degree of uncertainty (Santo, 2016;Reed, https://doi.org /10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.12.021 ...
... Public engagement is fundamental to environmental planning, yet natural resource professionals often struggle to achieve desired levels of stakeholder participation (De Santo, 2016;Mohai, 2017). This policy intention-action gap is often attributed to limited understanding and failure to integrate people's environmental attitudes, perceptions, motivations, and behavior into policy recommendations (Shumway et al., 2014). ...
Article
Public engagement is fundamental to environmental planning, yet natural resource professionals often struggle to achieve desired stakeholder participation. This policy intention–action gap often is attributed to failure to integrate people's preferences into policy recommendations. Understanding stakeholders' social control frames, or preferences regarding how society should be organized, offers one response to this challenge. Understanding how these frames (i.e., hierarchist, individualist, egalitarian, and fatalist) emerge may facilitate natural resource planning that appropriately addresses uncertainties implicit in managing complex human-dominated systems. We hypothesized that sociodemographic and spatial variables play an important role in an individual's social control frames related to forest conservation in Sikkim, India. Here we (1) describe administration of a questionnaire to identify social control frames, (2) report results of logistic regression examining the probability of association among key variables and social control frames, and (3) discuss conservation implications of these associations. Our results indicate that although familial generations in region was the only independent variable occurring in all four social control models, other sociodemographic variables that occurred in only one or two models also could be critically important. Similarly, altitude-related preferences may be instructive as natural resource managers assess the suitability of altitude-specific conservation. We suggest that examining how sociodemographic and spatial variables interact with social control preferences may enable resource managers to re-imagine their responsibilities in ways that are more consistent with local cultures. This can serve as a catalyst for designing and implementing policies that sustain long-term conservation goals along with broader social legitimacy and acceptance.
... With the development of information science and network technology, the research paradigms and challenges such as e-commerce , social media and networks (De et al., 2015;Gayo-Avello, 2015;Luo & Zhong, 2015), and public participation (De Santo, 2016), are causing large-scale group decision making (LSGDM) problems. A larger number of decision makers (DMs) are involved in LSGDM (Labella et al., 2018;Liu et al., 2018;Palomares et al., 2014b;Quesada et al., 2015;Xu et al., 2018;Xu et al., 2015;Zhang et al., 2017). ...
Article
Due to the development of network technology, large-scale group decision making (LSGDM) has become increasingly concerned. In this paper, a k-core decomposition-based opinion leaders identifying method and clustering-based consensus model are developed for LSGDM problems. Firstly, a clustering method based on similarity degree is provided for dividing decision makers (DMs) into several clusters. Then, sub-clusters are presented for social networks (SNs) construction process, which are consist of DMs with same alternative ranking information. Furthermore, a novel k-core decomposition-based opinion leaders identifying method is proposed for selecting opinion leaders of these SNs. Finally, the opinion leaders identified are applied to the following clustering-based consensus model in LSGDM. The weights of DMs are distributed appropriately and the group can efficiently reach a consensus based on the proposed social network analysis (SNA) methods and consensus reaching process (CRP). A case study on flood disaster management shows that the proposed methods are feasible for LSGDM problems.
... Group decision-making (GDM) is a widely used approach to a comprehensive evaluation (Liao, Gou, Xu, Zeng, & Herrera, 2020;Palomares, Martinez, & Herrera, 2014;Tabatabaei, Amiri, Firouzabadi, Keshavarz-Ghorabaee, & Š aparauskas, 2019;Wu & Chiclana, 2012;Yu, Zeng, Merigó, & Zhang, 2019;. With the increasing development of public participation (De Santo, 2016), emergency management (Probst et al., 2018) and e-democracy (Gayo-Avello, 2015), decision-making problems involve increasing numbers of decision-makers (DMs). In general, when the number of DMs exceeds 15, a GDM problem can be seen as a large-scale GDM (LSGDM) problem . ...
Article
Large-scale group decision-making (LSGDM) problems generally involve a large number of decision-makers (DMs). In many situations, the number of DMs and alternatives simultaneously make traditional techniques inoperable. This paper proposes a two-stage subgroup decision-making (T-SSGDM) method. In contrast to the traditional LSGDM approaches, this framework does not need a clustering process to reduce the size of DMs/alternatives to a manageable level. Instead, we propose a T-SSGDM process to address inter-group heterogeneity. First, DMs and alternatives are randomly grouped so that the number of alternatives to be assessed by each DM is substantially reduced. Second, as the ratings obtained in the first stage of the decision-making process are incomparable, partial samples are selected for the second stage. The relationships among the ratings of different subgroups are then determined by applying the equivalence test. Additionally, to ensure the robustness of the results, three sampling methods and three kinds of functions for the equivalence test are implemented. Finally, an empirical application is used to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method.
... Challenges remain around sustainable, long-term resourcing of websites and other means of communication (Buchan and Yates, 2019). Even when efforts are made to provide information, there are challenges in making it accessible and much more progress is needed to improve effective knowledge exchange (De Santo, 2016), particularly between sectors, and securing long-term funding for roles with intangible outcomes (Dickinson et al., 2012;Fig. 2). ...
Article
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The European Union (EU) has committed to an ambitious biodiversity recovery plan in its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Green Deal. These policies aim to halt biodiversity loss and move towards sustainable development, focusing on restoring degraded habitats, extending the network of protected areas (PAs), and improving the effectiveness of management, governance, and funding. The achievement of conservation goals must be founded on understanding past successes and failures. Here, we summarise the strengths and weaknesses of past EU biodiversity conservation policies and practices and explore future opportunities and challenges. We focus on four main aspects: i) coordination among and within the EU Member States, ii) integration of biodiversity conservation into socio-economic sectors, iii) adequacy and sufficiency of funds, and iv) governance and stakeholder participation.Whilst past conservation efforts have benefitted from common rules across the EU and funding mechanisms, they have failed at operationalizing coordination within and across the Member States, integrating biodiversity conservation into other sectoral policies, adequately funding and effectively enforcing management, and facilitating stakeholder participation in decision-making. Future biodiversity conservation would benefit from an extended and better-managed network of PAs, additional novel funding opportunities, including the private sector, and enhanced co-governance. However, it will be critical to find sustainable solutions to potential conflicts between conservation goals and other socio-economic objectives and to resolve inconsistencies across sectoral policies.
... This may "destabilize communities and may interfere in the problem-solving abilities of a crowd" (p.257), either via online engagement or in face-to-face meetings and forums. "Effective communication" refers to the need for the multidirectional flow of information/ two-ways flow communication (Coglianese et al., 2008;Cunningham & Tiefenbacher, 2008;De Santo, 2016;Decker & Bath, 2010;Everatt, Marais, & Dube, 2010;Henningsson et al., 2015;Kim & Schachter, 2013;Muluk, Danar, & Rahmawati, 2019), which involves reporting back to communities (Everatt et al., 2010;Jami & Walsh, 2016) for makes for a better quality of exchange (Martineau-Delisle & Nadeau, 2010). For this, explicit communication of the issues, objectives and design of SPPs is needed (Uittenbroek, Mees, Hegger, & Driessen, 2019). ...
Article
Over the last decade, expanded participation among stakeholders has been increasingly adopted by both public and private organizations in different domains. This approach is used to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making processes about meaningful decisions that will affect their communities. This paper aims to review, categorize, and offer a better understanding of the different issues that stakeholders' participation processes (SPPs). To meet this aim, a systematic literature review has been conducted. This paper has two main contributions. First, it presents a typology of issues that is arranged in nine categories: economic, efficiency and effectiveness, ethical, legislative, political, administration, socioeconomic, stakeholders and social, and technology. Second, it proposes a conceptual model of SPPs dimensions of issues. A real-world scenario of use of the proposed conceptual model and recommendations are presented.
... The attempt to involve communities in the design of MPAs was carried out in England by Defra between 2009 and 2011, called the 'MCZ stakeholder' process (De Santo 2016). From this £8 m project, 127 sites were recommended by well over 100 stakeholders from all walks of MPA practitioners are wedded to conserving individual 'features' in sites regarding designation and management (Solandt et al. in prep). ...
Article
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Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have developed in number and area at an unprecedented rate over the past 20 years in the UK. As with all other states, UK MPA designation and management requires evidence on the location, state, extent and vulnerability of marine organisms. Whilst the evidence base has been used to designate 297 sites in two decades covering over 20% of our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) area, the level of evidence required to manage activities and the necessary secondary legislative mechanisms and controls are unwieldy and overly complex. This makes the practical implementation of management measures difficult and blocks the ambition that such a large MPA network merits. Furthermore, a fundamental difference of opinion exists between government, regulators and civil society of levels of protection required to afford the marine environment 'good' status, given disagreement of baseline condition of our marine estate. Regardless of these difficulties, some regions of the UK have seen positive progressive management. It is hoped that the best examples of management can be transferred to other districts to encourage more efficient progress.
Article
The human desire to be near coastal waters is an innate aspect of both human settlement choices and leisure behaviour. Emerging research agendas in the general field of ‘wellbeing’ focus on outdoor wellness, advocating the health and psychological benefits of nature. This presence of and engagement with coastal landscapes and water, or ‘Blue Space’ is a positive indicator in wellbeing, learning, outdoor activity and pro-environmental behaviour amongst the wider population. Simultaneously, the global marine policy agenda continues its commitment to coastal conservation and sustainability. To date, wellbeing, and marine policy agendas have mostly been segregated. This paper advocates a combined, integrative approach to policy that incorporates symbiotic sustainability-wellbeing narratives, proofing, and monitoring for the long term successful management of the coastal environment. Starting with the proposition that the sea needs humans, and humans need the sea, this research argues that valuing the coast and sea through its learning and wellbeing benefits can encourage pro-environmental and pro-sustainability attitudes. Little has been done to explore how the wellbeing benefits and emotional meaning people have felt through interacting with coastal environments can be harnessed for greater engagement and education around marine conservation. It challenges the mainstream discourse on marine conservation which often relies on people valuing the sea intrinsically from an altruistic and moral perspective. Primary research is presented on UK coastal learning and outdoor wellbeing programmes. Framing the coast as a therapeutic landscape with potential for simultaneously meeting human needs and marine needs, allows for inclusive policy decision making.
Article
This study explored the outcomes of using the World Café method for promoting discussion among stakeholders on strategies for managing river patrol teams. The discussion topics included (1) strategies for integrating the resources of river patrol teams, (2) designing activities for stimulating river patrol team synergy, and (3) promoting strategies for pollution reporting. Twenty-three participants were categorized into three stakeholder groups, namely officials from environmental protection authorities, contractors' personnel responsible for managing the river patrol teams, and river patrol team members. The meeting offered participants the opportunity to express their opinions and concerns about the management strategy of river patrol teams in Taiwan. Through statistical analysis of the frequency and duration of opinion sharing of the participants, the average number of the statements proposed by participating officials, contractors' personnel, and river patrol team member were 4.1, 2.0, and 2.8, respectively, and the ratios of opinion sharing duration to the total discussion time for the discussed topics (mean ± standard deviation) were 27.2 ± 17.1%, 13.1 ± 10.8%, and 18.5 ± 10.1%, respectively. The statement number and opinion-sharing time ratio were analyzed using Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA, and the results showed that the opinion-sharing by the river patrol team members were not significantly different from those of the other two stakeholder groups. In addition, the opinion-sharing by officials was more favorable than that of the contractors' personnel, reflecting the general characteristics of the traditional top-down river patrol team management strategy. The results from the discussion on these three topics were summarized as follows: (1) the river patrol teams should be encouraged and assisted to integrate diverse public and private sector resources and to seek support from non-profit organizations and environmentally friendly enterprises; (2) the activities for river patrol team management should be designed according to the composition and characteristics of the team members of interest, and education and training curricula should be diversified and lively with practical exercises and constructive discussion; and (3) most people are used to reporting environmental problems to local officials or organization leaders, indicating that local environmental protection bureaus should collaborate with river patrol team leaders and community heads to gain an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of local environmental pollution. The results from this study showed that the World Café meeting facilitated diverse communication, which enabled the participants to interact with one another effectively, and to engage their own creativity and perspectives on forming solutions and strategies for the discussed topics.
Article
Climate and ecological emergencies play out acutely in coastal systems with devastating impacts on biodiversity, and the livelihoods of communities and their cultural values. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the key management and regulatory tools against biodiversity loss, playing a role in strengthening bio-cultural diversity and sustainability of coastal social-ecological systems. What is unclear though is the effectiveness of static protections under climate change as species move. Next to ecological uncertainty, regulatory uncertainty may play a role in weakening marine conservation. We asked whether MPAs are ecologically effective now and can sustain or improve to be so in the future while facing key climate and regulatory uncertainties. MPAs can support the protection of cultural values and have an impact on activities of sea-users and the sustainability of social-ecological systems. As such, questions surrounding their legitimacy under a changing climate and increased uncertainty are pertinent. We argue that MPA governance must be cognisant of the interdependency between natural and human systems and their joint reaction to climate change impacts based on an integrated, co-developed, and interdisciplinary approach. Focusing on the UK as a case study, we highlight some of the challenges to achieve effective, adaptive and legitimate governance of MPAs. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Nurturing resilient marine ecosystems’.
Thesis
This thesis (papers submission) focuses on the challenge of using public opinion to value environmental goods that are both complex to understand and unfamiliar to people. The three central papers are introduced by a literature review, which considers recent advancements in methods and knowledge associated with determining values for unfamiliar goods. The first paper then applies a stated preference choice experiment (using online surveys) and a latent class analysis to determine the value of reducing persistent chemicals from waterbodies in England and Wales. A scientific certainty attribute is included to capture the uncertainties associated with persistent chemical effects, marking a novel contribution to the literature and a development of the precautionary principle for application. The second paper uses a deliberative approach to investigate how people frame policy options for reducing chemical water pollution in England and Wales (required under the Water Framework Directive), using a representative sample of participants over two consecutive weekend workshops. The key finding here is that stated preference research aiming to be policy-relevant should improve its approach to cost fairness issues. The final paper uses a contingent valuation approach (using online surveys) to estimate the value of removing metal pollution from waterbodies in England and Wales. This paper applies a split sample to investigate the effect of a social norms information treatment on how convincing and realistic people found the stated preference scenario and payment tasks to be, which increased for the treatment group. The results indicate that the treatment has a weak direct impact on estimated mean willingness to pay (WTP), however a relative measure of WTP precision suggests that such estimates can be improved if people pay attention to the treatment. The findings from this thesis are of use to social scientists, civil servants and environmental economists interested in: improving approaches to valuing complex and unfamiliar goods; better reflecting natural decision-making in public opinion research; and applying findings from deliberative and survey-based research to create and manage more effective policies.
Article
This paper focuses on multi-attribute intuitionistic fuzzy large-scale decision making (LSDM) scenarios. The alternatives are described by attributes in the LSDM model. The decision failure may be caused by unqualified alternative being the final decision. To avoid this, we propose a Defective Alternative Detection-based multi-attribute intuitionistic fuzzy LSDM (DAD-LSDM) model. The model consists of two stages: the Defective Alternatives Detection (DAD) stage and the corresponding Intuitionistic Fuzzy Consensus Reaching Process (IF-CRP) stage. In the DAD stage, it is easy to recognize the defective alternatives by calculating the attributes’ scores and to accordingly improve them with the attributes against the corresponding alternatives. In the IF-CRP stage, by utilizing an intuitionistic fuzzy clustering method and similarity calculation, we detect and manage the potential non-cooperative decision makers to increase the consensus degree of the LSDM event. By implementing the DAD stage before the IF-CRP stage, we can avoid those excessively defective alternatives to be chosen and can also improve the quality of slightly defective alternatives. It not only decreases the risk of decision failure and improves the feasibility of the provided alternatives, but also guarantees the validity and scientificity of the following IF-CRP stage. With a numerical example, we show the DAD-LSDM model can well detect and classify the defective alternatives as well as improve the slightly defective alternatives. The decision makers finally reach a high consensus with detecting and managing the non-cooperative decision makers. The DAD-LSDM model is feasible and efficient in practice for the intuitionistic fuzzy LSDM scenarios.
Thesis
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The negative anthropogenic impacts upon the world ocean are accelerating. Marine citizenship has been proposed as a policy channel to work at an individual level of responsibility to improve marine environmental health and contribute to the achievement of a sustainable future. This interdisciplinary research reflects the principles of post-normal science, through its epistemologically pragmatic and pluralist approach to broadening our understanding of marine citizenship. Drawing on environmental psychology, human geography, environmental law, green political theory, and sociology, this research considers marine citizenship according to four key research questions: i) What is marine citizenship and who participates in it? ii) How are institutional policy frameworks of marine citizenship understood, interpreted and experienced by participants? iii) How do motivational and value-based factors influence marine citizenship choices? And iv) How do place-related factors influence the practice of marine citizenship? Mixed methods were used to bring together a range of data and maximise their thesis contribution. The research design consisted of an online survey of active marine citizens reached via three case studies: two community marine groups and one national citizen science project. This was followed by ethnographic observation of marine citizenship in practice and open-ended interview of purposively selected participants, to maximise insight into diversity of marine citizens and gain in-depth qualitative data. The results provide a number of novel insights into the conception and motivation of marine citizenship. In my research, prevailing interpretations of marine citizenship as a set of pro-environmental behaviours are extended by situating the concept within citizenship theory. Here I give additional focus to the understanding of marine citizenship as the right to construct and transform society’s relationship with the ocean, and how public participation in marine decision-making is perceived as being under-served by legislation and procedure. My data show that marine citizenship is influenced by a complex of interacting variables and that there is no one kind of person who becomes a marine citizen. Yet environmental identity, stimulation and conformity basic human values, climate change concern, place attachment and, in particular, place dependency are important factors for ‘thicker’ marine citizenship. The research uncovered a human affinity with the ocean through unique marine place attachment, which I call thalassophilia. These findings challenge normative approaches to pro-environmental behaviour, which frequently focus on environmental education, information, and awareness raising. Creating opportunities for marine experiences promotes attachment to the ocean and in turn ‘thicker’ marine citizenship. The results collectively point to a marine identity, formed through ocean connectedness and enabled by favourable socio-economic and policy conditions. When associated with good ocean health, marine identity can underpin and be reinforced by marine citizenship. Marine citizenship coincides with broader environmental and civic citizenship; therefore marine experience opportunities may contribute to wider acceptance of policy and public participation in the paradigmatic change now facing humans, as we attempt to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the coming years.
Article
Effective public communication plays a crucial role in Coastal and Marine Protected Area (CMPA) settings, especially in promoting community support and compliance with protective management measures. While research provides practical guidance for conservation managers, less attention has been given to the internal resources and capacities of the CMPA institutions to support effective communication. Based on a qualitative approach (16 in-depth interviews), this study draws on the views of key agency staff in France to understand internal institutional settings in a context of a low visibility of national CMPAs (especially the Marine Nature Parks and Natura 2000 networks). Results highlight an awareness of the need for well designed and implemented public communication but also clear differences in the way CMPA institutional arrangements hindered and enabled communication efforts. Three aspects are specifically discussed in turn: Centralized versus decentralized governance; Skills and competencies; and ideologies regarding the purpose of CMPAs.
Article
This paper discusses the impacts of Climate Change and anthropo-genic activities on coastal lagoons in Ghana. Ghana's coastal lagoons provide unique ecosystem services. However, they are highly fragile and vulnerable to natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Climate Change impacts, such as increased temperatures, sea-level rise, storm surge and increased precipitation are likely to have ecological damage to lagoon ecosystems as a result of erosion, submer-gence of lagoon barriers, flooding and drying of the surrounding wetlands. Field observation, Geographic Information System model-ing were among the methodology applied. The paper identified that anthropogenic activities and Climate Change would combine to have a serious future impact on lagoon ecosystems. Particularly, increased rainfall-induced flooding from the hinterland may be very injurious to the lagoon ecosystem, since the flood water may carry not only nutrients but also various contaminants and solid plastic waste generated by human activities around lagoons catchment into the lagoon channels. Besides, due to the barriers across most lagoon inlets, such polluted runoff water may not be able to flush out to sea, thus impacting negatively on the water quality of the lagoons. The paper proposes some adaptation strategies and recommends the early implementation of Climate Change adaptation strategies, coastal lagoon management measures to prevent potential future destructive impacts.
Article
A chemical industrial park is a socioeconomic and ecological composite system formed by the interaction of multiple stakeholders, such as chemical companies, the government, and the public. The environmental governance of chemical industrial parks requires the participation of multiple parties. However, when considering the environmental problems of chemical industrial parks, researchers mainly investigate such problems based on the parks or the government, and there is a lack of research from the perspective of multiple subjects. In this paper, we take public participation in China’s chemical industrial parks as an example and, based on semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, analyse the current situation of public participation in the environmental governance of chemical industrial parks. We find that public participation is characterized by a situation of “helplessness”. This helplessness has three causes: (1) a weak foundation for public participation, (2) limited public participation channels and (3) ineffective CIP management committees. We also discuss changes required at the government level, fostering public participation in environmental governance of chemical industrial parks and implications for theory and practice on cleaner production.
Article
Participatory practices are prominent strategies for increasing the legitimacy and effectiveness of resource commons governance. Despite increases in participatory practices legitimacy of such governance is in decline. Remaining commons are sites of conflict echoing wider disillusionment in democratic governance across mature liberal democracies. Much participatory governance literature argues that more involvement of citizens in deliberation and decision-making is the solution, turning away from representative practices to strengthen direct participation in commons governance. In this paper we draw on seminal work in political representation theory to examine legitimacy and political agency in participatory governance practices. We develop a conceptual lens drawing on key elements of: Hannah Pitkin’s The Concept of Representation; Michael Saward’s Representative Claim; and, Vivan Schmidt’s throughput model of legitimacy. The lens comprises three ‘conditions’ for analyzing how political agency of participants is constituted through institutional processes: authorization, dissent and exit, and accountability. We argue that this conceptual lens can serve the participatory turn in commons governance by enabling explicit consideration of the links between political participation and representation as foundations of democratic legitimacy.
Article
Citizen and stakeholder participation is held to bolster the democratic legitimacy of. marine governance by building trust in the decision-making system through inclusion.However, a growing body of literature points to increasing disillusionment and.exclusion, and thus decreased legitimacy. In this study we apply a ‘legitimacy lens’ to.examine a dominant conceptualisation of participation in marine governance. We.argue that the social-ecological systems paradigm (SES) exerts a substantial.intellectual influence within marine governance. We identify that an ontological.underpinning of the conceptualisation of participation within this paradigm results in the.absence of a coherent articulation of democratic legitimacy in marine governance.scholarship. We suggest that the development of a more nuanced and overt account of.democratic legitimacy is necessary to strengthening the application of SES-informed.marine governance practices
Thesis
The issue of potentially polluting wrecks is relatively unstudied in the UK despite the potential threat presented by hundreds of shipwrecks in UK waters that contain oil, chemicals and other hazardous materials. As these wrecks degrade they will inevitably release their cargoes and fuel stores into the marine environment. While there have been studies elsewhere that examine the risk from polluting shipwrecks, the limited work that has been undertaken on this topic in the UK is restricted to a number of government commissioned reports. These have attempted to quantify and risk assess the shipwrecks that pose a pollution threat in UK waters in order to inform ongoing management of these shipwrecks. However, there remain significant uncertainties about the nature of the threat from polluting shipwrecks in the UK. The existing studies also fail to take into account social and political influences that affect wreck management. This research therefore critically examines the state of research and the current management of polluting shipwrecks in the UK. It does this through examination of the legal requirements to remediate wrecks and to determine who is responsible for managing these shipwrecks. It presents a critical analysis of the existing risk assessments, wreck databases and the data that underpins them to reveal the high level of uncertainty in existing studies. Finally it demonstrates that through spatial assessment of open source socio-economic datasets we can determine with more certainty the potential consequences of wreck pollution and its impacts on the UK. The results of this research highlight issues relating to data availability and reliability which limits our ability to adequately risk assess and make decisions to pro-actively manage these wrecks. This research provides an alternative method for prioritising mitigation measures based on the spatial analysis of the socio-economic impact of wreck pollution rather than through traditional risk assessment. This allows us to examine these wrecks in a new manner and to make decisions despite high levels of uncertainty. It also allows for greater stakeholder engagement and integration into the management process. Ultimately this research presents the first holistic assessment of the management of potentially polluting wrecks in the UK.
Article
Conservation professionals need to know what has worked and what has not when designing, implementing, evaluating and refining conservation projects. Project failure reporting is an important, but largely unexploited, source of learning that capitalizes on the learning opportunity of failure provided through the experience of navigating research-implementation ‘spaces’. Learning from others through reading available literature is one way to supplement learning gained through direct experience. Learning vicariously is especially effective when presenting failure as opposed to success experiences. We reviewed the peer-reviewed conservation science literature to identify the extent and characteristics of failed project reporting, focusing our analysis upon social dimensions as opposed to biological causes, which have been comparatively well addressed. We quantified the degree to which articles reported activities commonly applied to learn from failure in business, medicine, the military and commercial aviation. These included activities for identifying, analyzing, correcting and sharing project failures. We used qualitative thematic analysis to identify the social causes of project failure. Reports of failed project experiences are rare and lack standardization. Human dimensions of project failure, such as stakeholder relationships, are more commonly reported than other causes of failure. The peer-reviewed literature has the potential to become a useful repository of lessons learned from failed projects. However, practical challenges such as identifying individuals' cognitive biases, cultivating psychological safety in teams, mainstreaming systemic team learning behaviors, addressing varied leadership styles, and confronting fear of failure in organizational culture must be overcome if conservation professionals are to effectively navigate research-implementation ‘spaces’.
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Access to information is the first "pillar" of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (1998). This article examines how the information disclosure obligations on states within the Aarhus Convention express a particular blend of human environmental rights, conjoining procedural entitlements (and duties) with a substantive right to an environment adequate to human health and well-being: "Aarhus environmental rights" have been lauded for increasing citizen access to environmental information, helping to secure more transparent and accountable regulatory processes. However, the information rights are rendered inconsistent in practice by three properties: 1) the discretion accorded to Convention Parties in interpreting Aarhus rights; 2) the exclusion of private entities from mandatory information disclosure duties; and 3) the indeterminate coupling of procedural and substantive rights. These tensions reflect a structural imbalance in the articulation of Aarhus rights between social welfare and market liberal perspectives.
Book
ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy A critical appraisal of why environmental policies fail and succeed, Environmental Policymaking and Stakeholder Collaboration provides policy makers with the keys to navigating complicated environmental issues and stakeholder negotiations. It covers theories in environmental policy making and stakeholder management, compares and contrasts failed and successful process and policy, and includes practical guidelines and tools for the practitioner. More than just a theoretical examination, the book presents an extensive tool kit of more than 70 practical and applied ideas to guide the implementation of inclusive stakeholder collaboration. These ideas can be used by governments and organizations to improve decision making and ensure that stakeholders and the general public have a say in public policy. The book covers theories of stakeholder collaboration, building an understanding of why stakeholder collaboration is simultaneously critical for effective policy making and why it is so challenging. While the focus of this book is on environmental policymaking, the theories and tools can be applied to any issue. Government cannot be expected to solve our public problems in isolation: we must ensure that diverse interests are heard and represented in the policymaking process. This book is more than just a theoretical treatise about stakeholder collaboration; it is also a collection of applied and practical tools to ensure that collaboration is put into practice in ways that are effective and meaningful. It helps people with a passion for the environment understand how to get their voices heard and helps governments understand how to listen.
Article
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.
Article
Arab Spring. Occupy Wall Street. Protests against austerity measures in Europe. Around the world, people are dissatisfied with traditional top-down style governance. The call for change sounds especially loud and clear in the environmental arena where legislative and law enforcement status quo imperils the future of our natural surroundings. This article adds new value to international environmental and democratic discourse by being the first major work to examine the first ten years of case law under the UNECE Aarhus Convention, a groundbreaking multilateral environmental agreement that promotes public participation in government environmental decision-making and enforcement through procedural requirements. The objective of the article is to verify whether such requirements are mere “toothless” procedural devices or if they have the potential for bringing about positive substantive change as well. They do. Via cases concerning the power plant construction inside a national park in Albania to gold mining in Romania, the article analyzes how even newly democratized nations have expressed their willingness to improve national environmental legislation and law enforcement by taking into account the results of public participation. Such bottoms-up style governance also has great potential for change at the international level. What may be seen as a dichotomy between procedure and substance is thus more correctly seen as an effective interface between the two. This first-of-its kind article concludes by proposing how the Convention has room for both thematic and geographical growth as well as how its legal principles can be beneficially emulated in other legal instruments.
Article
This paper examines the implications of environmental justice in the regime for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) currently developing in the European Union (EU). An ‘ecosystem-based approach’ to marine management is enshrined in the new Integrated Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy Framework Directive and forms the basis of MSP. This concept is intended to encompass all aspects of an ecosystem, including the human element. Yet the modes of including meaningful public participation in the decision-making process for MSP remain undetermined. At the same time, the Aarhus Convention (on access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters) empowers non-governmental organisations to hold EU Member States to account. Consequently the issue of transparency will gain increased importance, as will linkages between human and environmental rights. Such public interest-based activism on the part of NGOs has the potential to enforce the developing framework for stakeholder engagement within MSP, but it also has implications worth considering regarding the appropriate role of interest-based organisations in the international political arena.
Article
The complex and dynamic nature of environmental problems requires flexible and transparent decision-making that embraces a diversity of knowledges and values. For this reason, stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making has been increasingly sought and embedded into national and international policy. Although many benefits have been claimed for participation, disillusionment has grown amongst practitioners and stakeholders who have felt let down when these claims are not realised. This review first traces the development of participatory approaches in different disciplinary and geographical contexts, and reviews typologies that can be used to categorise and select participatory methods. It then reviews evidence for normative and pragmatic benefits of participation, and evaluates limitations and drawbacks. Although few of the claims that are made have been tested, there is evidence that stakeholder participation can enhance the quality of environmental decisions by considering more comprehensive information inputs. However, the quality of decisions made through stakeholder participation is strongly dependant on the nature of the process leading to them. Eight features of best practice participation are then identified from a Grounded Theory Analysis of the literature. These features emphasise the need to replace a “tool-kit” approach, which emphasises selecting the relevant tools for the job, with an approach that emphasises participation as a process. It is argued that stakeholder participation needs to be underpinned by a philosophy that emphasises empowerment, equity, trust and learning. Where relevant, participation should be considered as early as possible and throughout the process, representing relevant stakeholders systematically. The process needs to have clear objectives from the outset, and should not overlook the need for highly skilled facilitation. Local and scientific knowledges can be integrated to provide a more comprehensive understanding of complex and dynamic socio-ecological systems and processes. Such knowledge can also be used to evaluate the appropriateness of potential technical and local solutions to environmental problems. Finally, it is argued that to overcome many of its limitations, stakeholder participation must be institutionalised, creating organisational cultures that can facilitate processes where goals are negotiated and outcomes are necessarily uncertain. In this light, participatory processes may seem very risky, but there is growing evidence that if well designed, these perceived risks may be well worth taking. The review concludes by identifying future research needs.
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