Working Group 6

Governance of marine protected areas

The main objectives of this WG are: (1) undertake a programme of case studies on how different geopolitically and biogeographically representative examples of MPAs are governed across the European and contiguous seas; (2) analyse governance approaches in relation to effectiveness in achieving conservation objectives, using the marine protected area governance (MPAG,; (3) assess combinations of governance incentives and related roles (i.e. governance frameworks) that are effective in addressing driving forces, managing conflicts and achieving conservation objectives; (4) publish the findings of these case studies focused on combinations of incentives that are effective in addressing conflicts and achieving conservation objectives in a variety of contexts, as a means of informing initiatives to increase the proportion of MPAs across European and adjacent seas that are in favourable condition.


  • T6.1 (a) Build the capacity of participants in WG6 to apply the MPAG empirical framework; (b) apply the MPAG analysis framework to an agreed sample of MPA case studies across the European and contiguous waters.
  • T6.2 Coordinate systematic analyses and reporting of these findings employing the MPAG analysis approach.
  • T6.3 Synthesise the reports of these findings and horizontally analyse them to compare the effectiveness of different governance frameworks in relation to different contexts.
  • T6.4 Coordinate the production of case study papers that present the findings of each case study and synthesise them to assess common governance challenges and good practice in effectively addressing such challenges in maintaining MPAs at or restoring them to, favourable condition.


  1. (a) Run a 3-day Training School on the MPAG theoretical and empirical framework; (b) run a coordinated programme of case studies that apply the MPAG analysis approach, including a research workshop.
  2. Run coordinated analyses of the findings of these case studies.
  3. Synthesise the findings of these case studies.
  4. Coordinated production of case study papers, including introductory and synthesis/ discussion/conclusions paper.


  • M6.1 Training Schools on the MPAG theoretical and empirical framework (year 1).
  • M6.2 Three annual WG Meetings to advance the work in the case studies and the drafting of the relevant papers (years 2, 3 and 4).


  • D6.1 Special issue or section of a leading journal, with an introductory paper, series of case study papers by all WG6 participants and synthesis/discussion/conclusions paper.