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Examining Stakeholder Perspectives of Large Marine Protected Areas: A Q-Method Study

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Title: Examining Stakeholder Perspectives of Large Marine Protected Areas: A Q-Method Study
Author: Artis, Evan John
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Gray, Noella
Abstract: This thesis critically examines stakeholders’ perspectives of large marine protected areas (marine protected areas greater than 100,000km2). Despite awareness that studying people’s perspectives can improve conservation initiatives, there has been little research on perspectives of large marine protected areas (LMPAs). Drawing on two conservation social science fields – human dimensions of conservation and political ecology – this thesis uses Q-Method to elicit the perspectives of forty stakeholders involved with five LMPA sites (three established and two proposed). The results identify five distinct perspectives of LMPAs, illustrating that stakeholders are not simply either for or against LMPAs but have nuanced opinions that vary across and within sites and stakeholder groups. LMPAs are not inherently strong or weak approaches for marine conservation; what matters is the perspective of people involved and the execution of particular LMPAs. Such understanding is required to ensure these grand initiatives in marine conservation are both effective and equitable.
Date: 2017-12
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