Social value associated with marine and coastal protected area designations in England and Wales

  • Kate Pike

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    There is a current environment of change and progress within marine protection, reflected internationally by examples such as the Convention of Biological Diversity and nationally by the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009. Despite the UK's government agenda in this area, and the draw of people to coastal areas generally, the larger UK public lacks understanding and awareness regarding the marine environment. Combined with these circumstances, the social value of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas (MCPAs) has been largely ignored relative to conservation and economics drivers, with the latter invariably taking precedence in environmental policy making. There is also a need for an appropriate framework or methodology with which to address the above in light of communicating, particularly the nontangible, social values of MCPAs to decision makers. This research investigates the social value of MCPAs in England and Wales through three data collection phases. These include a series of interviews to gain a perspective of social value from MCPA practitioners and the public. The emerging results are then examined in light of their operational value through in-depth case studies. The results led to the development of two assessment tools of social value which can accommodate both tangible and intangible values. The tools included a normative statement of examples demonstrating optimum social value, and a social value zoning tool that allows practitioners to 'map' the social value of their MCPA for evaluative purposes. The final research findings are represented by a conceptual model of social value within MCPAs. The assessment tools and model assist with the clarification of social value within MCPAs and can be used by decision makers to assess and communicate the social value of their site and influence management practice. This work demonstrates social value of MCPAs from several view points and develops tools which can be used by MCPA decision makers to evaluate, and further develop social value within these areas.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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