Management briefings

Assessing ecological changes in and around marine reserves using community perceptions and biological surveys.

  • Villager’s support for a reserve does not necessarily depend on strong evidence from fish surveys.  Villager’s perceptions are affected by a wide range of information sources and managers seeking  to enhance local support should tap these information sources. 
  • It is important for managers to create inexpensive and effective monitoring methods that use a  diverse range of data sources because each monitoring system has different strengths and  weaknesses. 

Engaging communities towards sustained indicator development, monitoring and evaluation of MPAs in the central Philippines.


  • First impressions matter: When engaging local communities in the monitoring and evaluation  (M&E) of no(take marine protected areas (MPAs), marine resource managers must first build trust  and develop relationships.
  • Communities with a history of MPA development and/or an active village council (or similar  grassroots organization) tend to be more easily engaged in M&E activities than those without. 
  • Women can play an important role in M&E initiatives, and gender must be factored into the  program design to ensure equal opportunities to participate.

A geography of rights: Accessing places, and securing rights and claims

  • Social factors such as ownership may create unequal access to fishing. 
  • Social and ecological use of areas can influence MPA placement. 
  • Villagers feel they have the right to ecological knowledge, and the right to participate in MPA rule  making. 
  • Managers should be aware of ownership structures and the rights to which villagers feel entitled,  so as to understand villager participation in MPA management.