Socio-economic Factors Impacting Marine Protected Areas in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) Region 

17th June 2022
Author: Roz Price

This rapid review explores socio-economic and political issues that may affect the effectiveness of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR). It specifically focuses on key socioeconomic and governance issues around marine protected areas (MPAs) and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama based in the Eastern Tropical Pacific ocean. Research highlights the importance of understanding perceptions and context in environmental governance analyses and practice (Partelow, Jäger & Schlüter, 2021); and MPAs are increasingly recognised as being embedded in social-ecological systems, where human dimensions (e.g., social, economic, cultural, political, and institutional) interact with ecological characteristics (Burbano & Meredith, 2020, p.2). How do you define the effectiveness of an MPA is another key question to consider (but not explored in detail in this review). Bearing in mind that most MPAs have multiple objectives, including non-biological, which highlights the need for the development and adoption of standardised effectiveness metrics beyond biological considerations to measure factors contributing to their success or failure (Giakoumi et al., 2018). For example, there are growing calls for marine conservation success to move beyond area coverage to include a broader set of metrics related to the effective and equitable management of the marine environment (see Bennett et al., 2021). Hence, the more information the better when establishing integrated, well-designed and connected MPAs – for example, the more information on a sea area, the coastal populations and their socio-ecological relationships, the better stressors, systemic impacts and inter-annual variabilities can be identified, and the more effective protection can be developed (Relano, Palomares & Pauly, 2021, p.13).

Suggested Citation

Price, R.A. (2022). Socio-economic factors impacting marine protected areas in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) region. K4D Helpdesk Report 1144. Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2022.107


17th June 2022


Continent: South America

Country: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama