Future Oceans Around: Crossing the equator
Once again we go to Val Miñor high school for a Future Oceans Around session. As we pass through the equator of the programme, it’s time for action so we propose our students to design local Marine Reserves of Fishing Interest (MRFIs). With the future of our oceans in our hands, we should cooperate to reach consensus over the set of stakeholder interests and agree on a management instrument that assures the sustainability of livelihoods and the environment.
By role-game, students represented as environmental NGOs, social NGOs, local citizens, fishers, shellfish-gathers, Galician Government and the tourism sector. They sat to discuss the different ideas in a decision-making process and to reach a common design of Marine Reserves of Fishing Interest aiming for environmental, social and economic benefits in the region.
Surprisingly, three marine reserves were designed for the area with important variations depending on the students group. The resulting reserves depended on the participatory decision-making process, for example who lead the discussions, who participated more, who relied on whom, etc. Important issues in marine management were raised such as who benefits from the reserves and who doesn’t, what are the stakeholder priorities, which factors are valued by the group, or what designs of marine reserves will be feasible and when.
At the end of the session we could see how in socio-ecological systems not only environmental criteria and factors are important, but also social variables have to be taken into consideration to go from paper to action. We have learnt a lot together and we thank everybody for this big effort and implication on the Marine Reserve project.
See you in the final session stakeholders!