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Chapter 10 - Summary of Case Studies And The Changes to Stakeholder-Driven, Participatory Management of Reefs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2024

Kelly Dunning
Affiliation:
Auburn University, Alabama
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Summary

Stakeholder-driven Participatory Management Highlighted through Case Studies

Worldwide, coral reef management is increasingly becoming more participatory and drawing on adaptive management. As a reminder, participatory management refers to a form of management that shares the authority and responsibility of managing natural resources between the government and local communities and stakeholder groups (Kar, 2021). An important aspect is that it incorporates participatory governance which promotes and empowers the people (citizens and non-citizens alike) to participate in the decision-making process (). Often, only entities that significantly affect or are significantly affected by the proposed decision participate. Throughout this book, we’ve defined these entities as stakeholders (Decker et al., 2012). Our five case studies showcased stakeholder-driven policy-making at the national level through bipartisan legislation in the United States, at the sub-national level through participatory management in Florida, and at the local level through grassroots movements in Florida and the Cayman Islands, with Florida reefs depicted in Figure 10.1.

Our case study on bipartisan legislation in the United States showed that Republicans and Democrats are using coral reefs as symbols in policy-making to collaborate and cooperate on legislation regarding climate-vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts from climate change. For example, coral reefs are symbols of the unique cultural settings of American states across the nation. For Hawaii and Florida, coral reefs represent unique identities and are tied to their livelihoods and way of life. We also find that there is bipartisan consensus on the need to protect and conserve coral reef ecosystems through community-based management programs funded and supported by the federal government. This means that Congressional leaders are buying into the importance of enabling local communities to play a role in stewarding their coral reefs.

Our case study on the management of Florida's coral reefs examined two organizations: the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) and the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI). We found that both organizations enacted participatory management styles via stakeholder engagement and involvement. We also found evidence of iteratively learning, or learning as they go, from both organizations, indicating adaptive management strategies. Finally, we identified that the FKNMS engages in a formal and centralized approach to managing the Florida Reef Tract, while SEFCRI engages in an informal and collaborative approach to managing Florida's northern reefs.

Type
Chapter
Information
Democratic Management of an Ecosystem Under Threat
The People's Reefs
, pp. 181 - 186
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2023

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