Monitoring and evaluation provide the foundation for learning lessons, and for defining future program development and management strategies of the MPA. Monitoring is important for measuring success towards objectives, and for applying active adaptive management principles.
Ongoing monitoring includes continual assessments to measure attainment of scientific and social objectives, as well as to measure performance and ecological impacts of various management strategies (i.e., size, shape, spacing, etc.) of the MPA. Compiling baseline information (both scientific and local knowledge) allows for the evaluation of effectiveness of the MPA and adaptive management, in order to increase success of the management strategies.
Types of Protocols
Several methods are available to help in the design and implementation of monitoring and evaluating MPAs. Each of the following protocols emphasizes that the final components of an appropriate evaluation protocol ultimately depends on the specific goals and objectives of the site or network being examined. A meaningful evaluation of effectiveness that uses relevant indicators, appropriate tools for data collection, and suitable presentation methods will reflect the distinct information needs and technical capabilities of the stakeholders at each site.
- How Is Your MPA Doing? This workbook provides a comprehensive methodology developed for monitoring and evaluating management effectiveness of MPAs. This guidebook offers managers and other practitioners a process and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of MPAs, for the purposes of adaptive management. The evaluation is based on indicators to measure the effectiveness of management actions in attaining goals and objectives specific to MPAs. In recognition of the complex relationships between these conditions in the operation of the MPA, How is Your MPA Doing guidebook identifies a set of indicators: 10 biophysical, 16 socioeconomic, and 16 governance.
- The Socioeconomic Manual for Coral Reef Management (SOCMON) provides guidelines on how to conduct socioeconomic assessments of reef stakeholders, including preparatory activities, planning, field data collection and data analysis. Additionally, SOCMON guidelines have been tailored to the specific needs of a coastal manager in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Western Indian Ocean.
- Methods for Ecological Monitoring of Coral Reefs provides guidance on how to select the appropriate ecological monitoring programs, protocols, and methods for coral reef management needs.
- Evaluating Effectiveness: A Framework for Assessing the Management of Protected Areas provides consistent basis for designing assessment systems; gives guidance about what to assess; and provides broad criteria for assessment. Based on the Framework, different systems, using a range of evaluation tools, can be used to conduct evaluations at different scales and depths.
- Monitoring Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas provides practical guidelines on how to design and implement ecological and socioeconomic monitoring programs.
- The World Bank Score Card to assess progress in achieving management effectiveness goals for MPAs is designed to help MPA managers and stakeholders determine their progress along the management continuum. It is a short, straight-forward self-assessment tool, to help managers identify where they are succeeding and where they need to address gaps.
The table below illustrates three MPA goals with their corresponding objectives, indicators, and monitoring methods used to measure the success of the management objectives.
|MPA Goal||Management Objective||Indicators||Monitoring Methods|
|Maintain coral reef biodiversity and protect habitat||Protection of bleach-resistant and/or resilient sites||Species abundance, habitat distribution and complexity||Standard coral reef monitoring protocols can be used to monitor species richness and abundance prior to and after bleaching events. For non-specialists, coral species richness and abundance can be monitored at the growth form level (noting the abundance of growth forms particularly vulnerable to coral bleaching—e.g., branching and plate corals). Fishes can be monitored using a list of easy-to-identify species that may be particularly vulnerable to decline in coral communities (e.g., some butterflyfishes, damselfishes, and wrasses).|
|Enhance compliance by resource users||Threat reduction: legal and enforcement action improved, user willingness and acceptance of laws and regulations||Enforcement coverage, clearly defined enforcement procedures, existence and adequacy of enabling legislation, availability of MPA administrative resources||Standard socioeconomic monitoring methods to monitor the perception of local communities|
|Impact on coral communities: improved coral quality/quantity||Coral area under no or reduced impact, area showing signs of recovery||Standard coral reef monitoring programs to monitor the impact on coral communities (species richness, size structure, cover, and live-dead-broken coral counts)|
|Maintain socioeconomic benefits of the MPA at pre-bleaching levels||Economic status of residents and resource users improved, health of residents and resource users improved||Local marine resource use patterns, quality of human life, household income by distribution, material style of life||Standard socioeconomic monitoring methods to monitor the perception of local communities|