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Students in Future Oceans Around simulate decision-making process

Students of high school VAL MIÑOR designed a Marine Reserve with fishing Interest

04/01/2018 -

The last session of Future Oceans Around in 2017 was dedicated to the understanding of the interactions between the social and environmental dimensions a social-ecological systems. This session proposed a decision-making process as an example of a common ground for stakeholders to agree on their different objectives for resource management. The case study proposed to students is the design of a Marine Reserve of Fishing Interest (MRFI) in Galicia, to be established in Val Miñor (Galicia, Spain).

Students wore different stakeholders’ lens: environmental and social NGOs, fishers and shellfish gatherers, citizens, tourism agencies and government president, each focusing on different objectives. The first step of the process was to introduce the students with a general overview of marine reserves from the experiences around the globe. Afterwards, each stakeholder designed their best MRFI, according to their own objectives. In the third phase, all the stakeholders met and interacted in the decision-making process to design a REMIP that includes as much perspectives as possible to reach the higher level of agreement and thus success. Finally, the proposal of marine reserve was presented in public, where Spanish and European agents (roled by FOA members) attended to evaluate the project and decide over future funding.

During the whole exercise, the participants realized that timing, cooperation and pro-active attitudes are very important to design a successful project for social, environmental, cultural and economic objectives. The design of the social-ecological project is strongly conditioned by the number of actors that participate in the decision-making phase. The leadership and how this leadership is shared makes big differences in the final product. Also, the responsibility of the agents related with the project is a key element that cannot be forgotten. Not only economic and environmental, but also social and cultural aspect are needed to make success such projects.

Once more, surprising  results and a lot of learning from the session. Congratulations social-ecological managers, see you in 2018!

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CATEGORIES: Diego Salgueiro, Elena Ojea, Outreach, Team, Workshop