A novel framework for analyzing conservation impacts: evaluation, theory, and marine protected areas.
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Environmental conservation initiatives, including marine protected areas (MPAs), have proliferated in recent decades. Designed to conserve marine biodiversity, many MPAs also seek to foster sustainable development. As is the case for many other environmental policies and programs, the impacts of MPAs are poorly understood. Social-ecological systems, impact evaluation, and common-pool resource governance are three complementary scientific frameworks for documenting and explaining the ecological and social impacts of conservation interventions. We review key components of these three frameworks and their implications for the study of conservation policy, program, and project outcomes. Using MPAs as an illustrative example, we then draw upon these three frameworks to describe an integrated approach for rigorous empirical documentation and causal explanation of conservation impacts. This integrated three-framework approach for impact evaluation of governance in social-ecological systems (3FIGS) accounts for alternative explanations, builds upon and advances social theory, and provides novel policy insights in ways that no single approach affords. Despite the inherent complexity of social-ecological systems and the difficulty of causal inference, the 3FIGS approach can dramatically advance our understanding of, and the evidentiary basis for, effective MPAs and other conservation initiatives.
Conservation of Natural Resources
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/nyas.13428
Publication InfoAgrawal, A; Ahmadia, GN; Barnes, M; Basurto, Xavier; Craigie, I; Darling, Emily; ... White, AT (2017). A novel framework for analyzing conservation impacts: evaluation, theory, and marine protected areas. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1399(1). pp. 93-115. 10.1111/nyas.13428. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15410.
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Associate Professor of Sustainability Science
I am interested in the fundamental question of how groups (human and non-human) can find ways to self-organize, cooperate, and engage in successful collective action for the benefit of the common good. To do this I strive to understand how the institutions (formal and informal rules and norms) that govern social behavior, interplay with biophysical variables to shape social-ecological systems. What kind of institutions are better able to govern complex-adaptive systems? and how can societies (la
My expertise lies in theory of common-pool resources (CPR) and governance of marine social-ecological systems with the emphasis on adaptive co-management and other forms of multi-level governance arrangements. Please visit my website for more information about my research.
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