The other key ingredient for a successful marine reserve was the level of poaching in the reserve. But importantly, the team found that compliance with reserve rules was not just related to the level of enforcement, but also to a range of social, political, and economic factors which enabled people to co-operate better in protecting their marine resources. Reserves worked best where there was a formal consultation processes about reserve rules, where local people were able to participate in monitoring the reserve, and when ongoing training for community members was provided so that they could better understand the science and policy.
"It was clear that this type of local involvement was a very important factor in building the local support necessary to make reserves successful. Park agencies need to foster conditions that enable people to work together to protect their local environment, voluntarily, rather than focusing purely on regulations and patrols.
"Enforcement will almost always be an important part of a successful reserve, but there is a lot of ocean out there to patrol and many of the places we studied were poor, developing countries which don't have the luxury of being able to invest in lots of patrol boats.
The team's report appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in a paper entitled "Marine reserves as linked socialecological systems" by Richard Pollnac, Patrick Christie, Joshua E. Cinner, Tracey Dalton, Tim M. Daw, Graham E. Forrester, Nicholas A. J. Graham, and Timothy R. McClanahan.
|Contact: Dr. Joshua Cinner|
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies