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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  February 2014  /  Governing Marine Protected Areas: Resilience through Diversity

Governing Marine Protected Areas: Resilience through Diversity

Nature recommends Peter Jones’s new book

Governing Marine Protected Areas: Resilience through Diversity

Dr Peter Jones’ book Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity was published by Earthscan/Routledge on 25 February 2014.

It addresses some important challenges related to the effective and equitable governance of marine protected areas (MPAs), ocean zones where human activity is limited. These are explored through an analysis of twenty MPA case studies from around the world.

A novel governance analysis framework addresses some key questions: How can top-down and bottom-up approaches to MPA governance be combined? What does this mean in reality in different contexts? How can we develop and implement governance approaches that are both effective in achieving conservation objectives and equitable in fairly sharing associated costs and benefits?

As well as addressing the many issues raised by these questions, the book explores options for addressing them. A key theme is that MPA governance needs to combine people, state and market approaches, rather than being based on one approach and its related ideals. Building on a critique of the governance analysis framework developed for common-pool resources, the book presents a more holistic and less prescriptive framework for analyzing the governance of MPAs.

Its trans-disciplinary analysis aims to support MPA governance approaches that build social-ecological resilience through both institutional and biological diversity. It also aims to contribute to wider debates on natural resource governance, offering an alternative theoretical and empirical approach and posing critical questions for related research.

The book is available in hardback from Earthscan, the 20% discount code DC361 taking the price to £40.00 (until 31 December 2014). A leaflet on the book can be found at, and a blog at

Reviweing it in Nature on 20 March (Vol 507, p.305), Barbara Kiser notes that MPAs cover little more than 2% of the world's oceans despite an internationally agreed target of 10% by 2020. As many scientists have found, thousands of those that do exist are also little more than 'paper parks'. She adds: "Entering these choppy waters is geographer Peter Jones, who shows, through some 20 case studies, how and how not to govern MPAs effectively. Jones compellingly concludes that a diversity of incentives, from economic to social, is as essential as the diversity of the ecosystems MPAs are designed to protect."


Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation, University of York, UK, had also commented, “There are many books on how to design and create marine protected areas (MPAs), so vital for ocean conservation, but few on how to make them successful. This book plugs that crucial gap, distilling experience from across the world into sound and creative advice.”

Bonnie J. McCay, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University, USA, added, “The issue of governance is addressed in this book in a novel and important way. Through the lens of his review of a large number of MPA case studies, Jones makes the case for diversity and complexity in the governance of MPAs, which are themselves ecologically diverse and complex.  This is a signal achievement which should greatly advance both policy and practice.”


To order the book:

Peter Jones:

Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG) project:


Governing Marine Protected Areas: Resilience through Diversity

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