University of Tasmania
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Mapping and evaluating marine protected areas and ecosystem services: a transdisciplinary Delphi forecasting process framework

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posted on 2023-05-21, 03:47 authored by Belgrano, A, Camilla NovaglioCamilla Novaglio, Svedang, H, Villasante, S, Melian, CJ, Blenckner, T, Bergstrom, U, Bryhn, A, Bergstrom, L, Bartolino, V, Skold, M, Tomczak, M, Wikstrom, SA, Hansen, AS, Linke, S, Emmerson, R, Morf, A, Tonnesson, K
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an important tool for management and conservation and play an increasingly recognised role in societal and human well-being. However, the assessment of MPAs often lacks a simultaneous consideration of ecological and socio-economic outcomes, and this can lead to misconceptions on the effectiveness of MPAs. In this perspective, we present a transdisciplinary approach based on the Delphi method for mapping and evaluating Marine Protected Areas for their ability to protect biodiversity while providing Ecosystem Services (ES) and related human well-being benefits – i.e., the ecosystem outputs from which people benefit. We highlight the need to include the human dimensions of marine protection in such assessments, given that the effectiveness of MPAs over time is conditional on the social, cultural and institutional contexts in which MPAs evolve. Our approach supports Ecosystem-Based Management and highlights the importance of MPAs in achieving restoration, conservation, and sustainable development objectives in relation to EU Directives such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD), and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).


Publication title

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution



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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Frontiers Research Foundation

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright © 2021 Belgrano, Novaglio, Svedäng, Villasante, Melián, Blenckner, Bergström, Bryhn, Bergström, Bartolino, Sköld, Tomczak,Wikström, Hansen, Linke, Emmerson, Morf and Tönnesson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified; Rehabilitation or conservation of coastal or estuarine environments; Coastal and estuarine systems and management not elsewhere classified