Enabling conditions to support marine protected area network planning: California's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative as a case study
Without the proper enabling conditions, MPA planning processes can be significantly hindered in their capacity to achieve stated goals. In California, after two unsuccessful attempts, statewide planning of a network of marine protected areas (MPA) was achieved through the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. Six initial enabling conditions contributed to moving the MLPA Initiative forward, ultimately meeting the statutory objective of redesigning the statewide system of MPAs. Those conditions included: (1) a strong legal mandate which provided guidance and flexibility; (2) political support and leadership which enabled the process to overcome political challenges and opposition; (3) adequate funding which ensured sufficient staff support and facilitated innovative approaches to a public MPA network planning process; (4) an aggressive timeline with firm deadlines which propelled the process forward; (5) willingness of civil society to engage which provided for better informed and broadly supported outcomes; and (6) an effective and transparent process design which optimized contributions from stakeholders, scientists, and policy makers. These conditions enabled the MLPA Initiative to avoid shortcomings of similar planning processes, with implications for broader national policy on coastal and marine spatial planning in the United States. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Ocean and Coastal Management
Fox, Evan; Miller-Henson, Melissa; Ugoretz, John; Weber, Mike; Gleason, Mary; Kirlin, John; Caldwell, Meg; and Mastrup, Sonke, "Enabling conditions to support marine protected area network planning: California's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative as a case study" (2013). McGeorge School of Law Scholarly Articles. 389.