||MBNMS International Activities and Collaborations: Italy Research Plan
Aree Marine Protette dell’Italia
William J. Douros
July 2, 2004
The overall goal of the research is concentrated on understanding how
the marine protected areas (including marine parks) of Italy are
organized, how they are managed, how they involve local communities and stakeholders,
and how they use certain “tools” to protect resources
within the marine areas.
secondary goal is to provide to Italian counterparts examples from
those programs within the National Marine Sanctuary Program that have
been successful and would help the Italians better manage their marine
The basic research strategy will be fairly simple – meetings and
discussions with parties involved with establishing and managing Italian
marine protected areas. Written materials, including websites, will also
be reviewed for relevant information. The six key, specific elements
to focus on are described below.
Involving Communities and “Stakeholders”
Worldwide, it seems a key ingredient to successful marine protected areas
is how well the managing entity engages and involves stakeholders and
local, regional and national communities. So, important questions about
how Italian’s involve communities in managing marine protected
Research and Monitoring
are marine protected areas established, and what is the role of
stakeholders and communities in the establishment process?
established, how are stakeholders and communities at all levels involved
in managing the sites?
do those strategies help the government manage the overall network
of protected areas (assuming that is a goal)?
Of the key tools to understand is how research and monitoring of human-induced
and natural change help to better manage the protected areas.
Education and Outreach
are the goals of research and monitoring at individual sites?
there a national, system-wide research and monitoring plan for
the network of protected areas, and if so, how does it interconnect
with site-specific plans?
conducts the research and monitoring – national
scientists, local site scientists, outside scientists, or others?
are data integrated between the sites, regardless of who collects
is the science funded?
do scientists from universities or other research institutions participate?
are data shared with the public, used by decision-makers and incorporated
into education programs and products?
A powerful tool used by the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary Program to
aid management of national marine sanctuaries is education and outreach.
Understanding how the Italian system of marine protected areas uses
this same tool is critical to comparing their effective management.
Protection Policies and Programs
a comprehensive program of education and outreach exist?
are the goals and audiences of the education and outreach programs
of individual marine protected areas (if they exist)?
carries out the education and outreach programs?
are their products and services?
is effectiveness of education and outreach programs measured?
The Italian marine protected areas vary in size and are spread across
the Italian coastal regions (much like the U.S. system). It is important
to understand how these different Italian marine protected areas use
protection strategies to protect their diverse resources from diverse
are human activities restricted or otherwise controlled in Italian
marine protected areas?
are the restrictions enforced?
are the measurements of success for these restricted activities?
what extent is zoning used to restrict human activities, or access,
and how are those zones established – what is the process,
who is involved, are zones changed over time?
is the compliance with zones and the effectiveness of zones monitored?
other ancillary protection programs employed, such as non-regulatory
programs, or education and outreach?
The U.S. National Marine Sanctuary Program has invested extensive resources
the past four years in updating site-specific management plans. The
extent to which Italian marine protected areas use management plans
will be assessed by the following:
Partnerships and Volunteers
Italian marine protected areas have written management plans for
activities or management strategies do management plans address?
often and by what process to Italian managers update their management
are the activities in those plans measured for success and, if measured,
how is the measurement information fed back into the management system(s)?
The role of partners including volunteers is typically an integral component
to managing marine resources such as national marine sanctuaries. For
Italian marine protected areas, the following information is being
are the “partners” involved in managing Italian marine
are their roles in the various marine protected areas around Italy?
are volunteers used, what are their roles, who recruits and trains