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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

The Sustainable Development Goals have set an ambitious and inclusive agenda to achieve social targets and protect biodiversity. In coastal ecosystems, management tools such as marine protected areas (MPAs) and increasingly, other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), are now encouraged to deliver multiple ecological and social benefits. How to achieve these multiple outcomes is limited by a lack of understanding of what socialecological contexts and governance arrangements can enable win-wins for nature and people. This SNAPP group will provide the IUCN, member nations of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and The Pacific Community (SPC), and a consortium of international NGOs and conservation funders with a decision-support tool to make informed choices about the implementation of MPAs and OECMs. This information is urgently needed leading up to the CBD COP15 and Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework negotiations. Guided by an Advisory Group of end users, a Technical Working group will conduct a meta-analysis of an unprecedented global dataset of coastal social-ecological systems in Kenya, Madagascar, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and French Polynesia. This data-intensive approach will rapidly synthesize and quantify the contributions of MPAs and OECMs to successful outcomes under different governance arrangements and enabling social-ecological conditions. The results will be used to build a ‘decision tree’, which can guide the selection of optimal management tools to inform policy, practice and investments by groups without access to the same level of data. Ultimately, our working group will deliver evidence-based and scalable solutions to the IUCN, key organizations (FAO, SPC), conservation funders (MacArthur, Vulcan, Bloomberg, Cargill, Blue Action Fund) and international NGOs (WCS, TNC, WorldFish, WWF, CI, RARE) – all influential end users involved in coastal governance and management around the world. Our high-impact outputs will include journal articles, policy briefs, and strategic summaries that will: (1) provide the first global synthesis comparing the social and ecological outcomes of MPAs and OECMs; (2) build a decision support tool that will assist the IUCN, FAO, SPC, NGOs and donors invest in and implement effective coastal conservation and management programs that can meet multiple social and ecological objectives; and (3) inform national reporting on SDGs and negotiations leading up to the CBD Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

The information here may be out of date, please refer to for more current information.

Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Emily S. Darling, Georgina Gurney

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2019

End: December 31, 2020



Vera N. Agostini
The Nature Conservancy
Arun Agrawal
University of Michigan
Gabriella Ahmadia
World Wildlife Fund
Derek Armitage
University of Waterloo
Natalie C. Ban
University of Victoria
Jessica Blythe
Brock University
Stuart Campbell
Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia
Joachim Claudet
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Phillipa Cohen
WorldFish Center
Courtney Cox
Stephanie D'agata
Macquarie University
Emily S. Darling
Wildlife Conservation Society
Graham Epstein
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Whitney Friedman
University of California, Santa Barbara
David Gill
Duke University
Georgina Gurney
James Cook University
Andrew Halford
The Pacific Community (SPC)
Amber Himes-Cornell
Universite' de Bretagne Occidentale
Harry Jonas
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Stacy D. Jupiter
Wildlife Conservation Society
Carrie V. Kappel
University of California, Santa Barbara
Dan Laffoley
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Peni Lestari
Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia
Sangeeta Mangubhai
Wildlife Conservation Society
Timothy R. McClanahan
Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Gavin McDonald
University of California, Santa Barbara
Elizabeth McLeod
The Nature Conservancy
Nyawira Muthiga
Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Josheena Naggea
Stanford Earth
Prayekti Ningtias
Wildlife Conservation Society
Casey O'Hara
University of California, Santa Barbara
Puji Prihatiningsih
Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia
Ravaka Ranaivoson
Wildlife Conservation Society, Madagascar
Estradivari Sant
World Wildlife Fund, Indonesia
Ita Sualia
Wildlife Conservation Society
Amelia Wenger
University of Queensland
Irfan Yulianto
Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia

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