Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Co-management and adaptive co-management: two modes of governance in a Honduran marine protected area

Lookup NU author(s): Natalie Bown, Professor Tim Gray, Professor Selina Stead



Selecting the best mode of governance for marine protected areas (MPAs) especially in developing countries has generated considerable controversy in the academic and policy literature during the last 20 years. In this article, two modes – co-management (CM) and adaptive co-management (ACM) – are analysed in detail, and an examination is made of an attempt to put these modes sequentially into practice in the first (2003–2009) and second (2008–2013) management plans, respectively, of the Cayos Cochinos MPA (CCMPA) in Honduras. Extensive fieldwork was carried out during 2006–2010 in three communities dependent on the CCMPA (Rio Esteban, Nueva Armenia, and Chachahuate) including key informant interviews, focus group meetings, household surveys, and participant observation. The paper’s findings are (1) that while the first plan implemented some CM principles (such as sharing responsibility between government, stakeholders and NGOs) it failed to deliver other CM principles (such as transparency and accountability); and (2) that while the second plan increased participation and transparency, and used a more adaptive approach, it still left many stakeholders out of the decision-making process, and its processes of experimentation, monitoring and social learning were very limited. The fact is that CM and ACM are laudable objectives, but very difficult to implement in full.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bown N, Gray T, Stead SM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Policy

Year: 2013

Volume: 39

Issue: May

Pages: 128-134

Print publication date: 01/05/2013

Date deposited: 30/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0308-597X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9460

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.09.005


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric