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Book chapter Book chapter
Title:Evaluating the Effectiveness of Management of the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Protected Area
Author:Muthiga, N.A.
Book title:Advances in Coastal Ecology: People, processes and ecosystems in Kenya
Editors:Hoorweg, J.
Muthiga, N.
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:Resources - management of
Marine Protected Area
Abstract:Managers of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are faced with many demands and often do not have the opportunity to reflect on the results of their actions. Management evaluations allow managers to learn from successes and improve management through time. This first assessment of the management effectiveness of the Kisite-Mpunguti MPA used existing information to evaluate the actions and outcomes measured against the MPA's goals as outlined in the MPA management plan. Selected biophysical, socio-economic and governance indicators were used for this purpose. The Kisite-Mpunguti MPA showed progress towards meeting the tested objectives. The coral reef habitats in the MPA had higher biomass of fish, higher coral cover and fewer urchins and showed signs of recovery from the late 1980s. Community initiatives geared primarily to improve the livelihoods of MPA-dependent communities showed good progress with increased incomes and food security. Resources for managing the MPA including staff and infrastructue increased overtime at pace with the development needs of the MPA but not with the operational and recurrent needs of the MPA. The number of partnerships and relationships with MPA stakeholders also increased with time. Areas that showed less progress included the lack of a formal mechanism for stakeholder participation, decreasing fisheries catches in the marine reserve, lack of MPA specific regulations and financial stability of the MPA. Weaknesses in the management plan and conflicts due to overlapping mandates with other natural resource institutions further reduced the effectiveness of management actions while, external factors such as global warming and terrorism had a negative impact on biodiversity and the financial sustainability of the MPAs respectively. Revision of the MPA plan to more closely target objectives, creation of formalized communication mechanisms, improving financial sustainability and retention of technical expertise and systematizing data gathering to inform management were recommended. (Source: Author Abstract).