Ecological and Socio-economic Impacts of Marine and Terrestrial Conservation Policy


Monday, March 21, 2016 - 09:00 to Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 17:00


OIST Main Campus, Seminar Room C210


This mini symposium will bring together empirical and theoretical researchers to review and discuss innovative methodological strategies targeted at identifying:

  • How to effectively evaluate the performance of conservation policy (e.g. protected areas)
  • How to examine the complex coupling between ecological and socioeconomic responses to conservation policy.

Conservation policy is essential to the preservation of species, ecosystems and the livelihoods they support, and also plays a key role in adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change. There are increasing pressures globally to allocate new resources for conservation initiatives such as the recent targets set at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2010 meeting where countries committed to increase the global coverage of terrestrial protected areas to 17% (from current 15%) and marine protected areas to 10% (from current 3%) by 2020.

However, researchers have long exhibited concerns about conservation initiatives often being targeted in areas that are never under threat or that fail to have desired outcomes. Thus, any further increase in allocation of scarce resources for conservation requires a keen understanding of whether and which conservation strategies are most ecologically effective and how do they affect the economic conditions of local people.

Recent studies on terrestrial conservation use quantitative methods for evaluating the impact that such conservation intervention has on ecological and socio-economic outcomes . Studies are also increasingly exploring the heterogeneous nature of terrestrial conservation effectiveness along with the variation in the ecological costs and benefits to society of instituting such policies . Research to date suggest that terrestrial conservation policy have had mixed success on desired ecosystem and biodiversity benefits and on the economic conditions of affected communities.

Researchers focusing on marine conservation have also moved beyond considerations of solely environmental outcomes to consider the impact on socio-economic consequences. Recent work examines the consequences of reserves for local communities, incorporates socioeconomic factors and possible impacts into the reserve design process, and highlights the potential complementary relationship between conservation and fishery goals through the effect of marine protection on fishing yields and profits in unprotected waters .

While marine and terrestrial conservation policies are fundamentally different, the questions pertaining to the measurement and indicators of success of both are similar. The longer historical presence of terrestrial conservation policies can provide case studies and guidance not only for better planning and management of existing and new terrestrial conservation, but also for future and ongoing marine conservation efforts. Similarly, recent contributions in the systematic planning of marine protection can provide a better understanding of the effects of reserve protection, the social and ecological drivers of reserve failures and successes and the application of this information for more effective reserve design in the future. The goal of this symposium is to provide a platform for eminent social scientists focusing on marine and terrestrial conservation projects across the globe to share key findings, identify challenges and promote an exchange of ideas that can better inform future conservation efforts.


Main organizer
Payal Shah, Science and Technology Group, OIST

Satoshi Mitarai, Marine Biophysics Unit, OIST
For program and abstarcts, please see attachment*. (program as of 2016/3/16) 
(The program is subject to change. Thank you in advance for your understanding.)


Sponsor or Contact: 
Payal Shah, OIST Science and Technology Group
All-OIST Category: 

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