Exploring governance in Galapagos Marine Reserve

Barragán Paladines, María José (2015) Exploring governance in Galapagos Marine Reserve. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundlnad.

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Abstract

The image of Galapagos has been communicated by the conservation rhetoric as the paradisiacal and pristine destination for tourism and science in the last decades. This discourse has served to motivate, convince, and persuade audiences about why and how Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) has been a positive outcome in marine conservation. However, the role of humans in the GMR agency has intentionally been left unnoticed, disregarding its influence in the GMR governability. In recent years, the visibility of the human element in the GMR management has been raised by developing more social-science-based research, mainly linked to economic assessments. Although these initiatives have brought positive outcomes for local interest groups, in many cases, this research-transition has proven to be insufficient to address (and solve) the challenges in GMR governance. Consequently, the ruling bodies' and interest groups' frustration, and the natural environment's degradation have deteriorated the mutual interactions, compromising the MPA long-term viability. Generally, the success or failure of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is attributed to the governance model placed to govern it. In GMR, the challenges to its governance have remained unsolved along the years as issues linked to current events, when in reality, GMR success or failure was incubated even before the reserve was created. In fact, its current condition has been endorsed to the co-governance mode, to the availability of funds, to the fulfillment of regulations, and to the enforcement of law. This idea has disregarded the relevance of the institutional structure, the interactions between interest groups, the meta-governance elements (e.g., images of users), and their attitudes toward the area governance. This dissertation recognizes that alternative perspectives and instruments to look at this MPA agency are needed and argues that a shift from the managerial framework towards a governance paradigm to rule the GMR is urged in order to addresses high complex, diverse, and dynamic governance issues occurring at multiple scales. This thesis is inspired by the interactive governance theory and the governability notion, both of which highlight the importance of the three governance dimensions (i.e., first, second-, and third-order governance) and their mutual linkages, in addressing conflicts and suggesting alternatives. Here it is argued that the horizontal model of governance (or co-management) used in GMR has extensively been promoted as the solution for problems with marine resources, MPAs, and fisheries. However in reality, it is shown that it has been far from being

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8424
Item ID: 8424
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Galapagos Marine Reserve, interactive governance, governability, Step Zero, smallscale fisheries, tourism.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: May 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Marine parks and reserves--Ecuador--Galapagos Islands; Protected areas--Ecuador; Marine resources--Management; Marine resources conservation--Ecuador--Galapagos Islands

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