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Mapping and evaluating marine protected areas and ecosystem services: a transdisciplinary Delphi forecasting process framework

Belgrano, A, Novaglio, C ORCID: 0000-0003-3681-1377, Svedang, H, Villasante, S, Melian, CJ, Blenckner, T, Bergstrom, U, Bryhn, A, Bergstrom, L, Bartolino, V, Skold, M, Tomczak, M, Wikstrom, SA, Hansen, AS, Linke, S, Emmerson, R, Morf, A and Tonnesson, K 2021 , 'Mapping and evaluating marine protected areas and ecosystem services: a transdisciplinary Delphi forecasting process framework' , Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 9 , pp. 1-10 , doi:

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Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an important tool for management and conservation and play an increasingly recognised role in societal and human well-being. However, the assessment of MPAs often lacks a simultaneous consideration of ecological and socio-economic outcomes, and this can lead to misconceptions on the effectiveness of MPAs. In this perspective, we present a transdisciplinary approach based on the Delphi method for mapping and evaluating Marine Protected Areas for their ability to protect biodiversity while providing Ecosystem Services (ES) and related human well-being benefits – i.e., the ecosystem outputs from which people benefit. We highlight the need to include the human dimensions of marine protection in such assessments, given that the effectiveness of MPAs over time is conditional on the social, cultural and institutional contexts in which MPAs evolve. Our approach supports Ecosystem-Based Management and highlights the importance of MPAs in achieving restoration, conservation, and sustainable development objectives in relation to EU Directives such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD), and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Belgrano, A and Novaglio, C and Svedang, H and Villasante, S and Melian, CJ and Blenckner, T and Bergstrom, U and Bryhn, A and Bergstrom, L and Bartolino, V and Skold, M and Tomczak, M and Wikstrom, SA and Hansen, AS and Linke, S and Emmerson, R and Morf, A and Tonnesson, K
Keywords: Marine Protected Area, Delphi approach, conservation, restoration, fisheries, blue economy, ecosystem-based management, human well-being, socioecological systems, surveys
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN: 2296-701X
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright © 2021 Belgrano, Novaglio, Svedäng, Villasante, Melián, Blenckner, Bergström, Bryhn, Bergström, Bartolino, Sköld, Tomczak,Wikström, Hansen, Linke, Emmerson, Morf and Tönnesson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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