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Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies

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Caribbean Challenge SocMon : Project Home

Despite many projects, Caribbean MPA management authorities with small staffs struggle with inadequate capacity to manage most MPAs in the region. This is in part due to the fact that most of the regional, national and local agencies responsible for MPA management, do not have the training or skills required to achieve effective biodiversity conservation and successfully manage the areas under their supervision.

Strengthening skills and knowledge, to manage protected areas adaptively is critical to preventing and/or arresting degradation of natural resources and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for those dependent on these resources. Consultation with representatives of the MPA community in the eight islands associated with the Caribbean Challenge Initiative at a meeting hosted by the UNEP-CEP Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management (CaMPAM) Network at the 63rd Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), Puerto Rico, 1-5 November 2010 indicated the need for capacity building in socio-economic monitoring for the development of an effective regional system of MPAs.

This need for MPA capacity building in socio-economic assessment and monitoring was previously identified in a regional training needs assessment. This critical deficiency must be addressed. The Caribbean Challenge Initiative and regional training in SocMon provide a major opportunity for uptake of SocMon for achieving improved MPA management capacity and therefore conservation of coastal resources. With strengthened capacity for management through socio-economic monitoring MPA managers, authorities and field staffs will also increase their capacity for adaptive management through learning-by-doing.

SocMon Caribbean is a globally networked, regionally adapted, practical methodology of socio-economic monitoring for coastal management. Training in SocMon Caribbean will provide Fisheries/MPA management authorities with a tool to conduct sustained monitoring of socio-economic conditions at their MPAs. The SocMon Caribbean training package already successfully offered includes specialisation modules on resource valuation, co-management, livelihoods analysis and other options to tailor training to site-specific demands.

The long-term conservation outcome of this project is that of increased capacity for effective MPA management among Caribbean Challenge (CC) countries through use of social and economic monitoring data in MPA decision-making.

Goals and objectives
The goal of this project is to build capacity for improved and effective MPA management among Caribbean Challenge countries by promoting the use of social and economic data in MPA management by:
  • Training approximately 40 MPA managers/staff, from three Caribbean Challenge countries, in the practical use of SocMon Caribbean methods via three country-specific workshops
  • Initiation of eight site assessment and monitoring programs for coastal management in each of the countries receiving the training
  • Documentation of training and monitoring initiation processes, to make them available to a worldwide audience and CERMES communications for replication, with improvement, in future rounds of SocMon activity
  • Submission of compatible data to the Reef Base Socio-Economic global database and CaMPAM database

1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012

Geographic location
Eastern Caribbean: Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The project is funded by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Total value: USD 126,372 – USD 63, 186 in federal funds and USD 63,186 in matching contributions.
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