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Implementing a marine conservation plan is like baking a cake

11
Oct 2017

Posted By

ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies

Baking a cake, just like actioning a plan, is a process. You first decide what you want to create, and identify objectives to achieve the desired end-result. But at what point in the process should you take stock of your progress and re-adjust to improve on the efficiency and effectiveness of the original plan?

In a new study led by PhD student Jessica Cheok, researchers have attempted to take some of the guess work out of implementation of marine conservation plans. Using Fiji as a case study, simulated scenarios examined the frequency with which regionally-assessed priorities should be updated as actions are implemented. In the simplest of terms, it’s like kitchen-testing a recipe. For the best results, how often should you stop your progress to taste the batter, or open the oven to check the cake is rising properly?

The research results suggest that unless you are working with translating regional conservation assessments of “high-priority features,” such as threatened sea turtle nesting habitat (or think extravagant pieces of cake decoration executed on competitive reality TV baking shows) then “less frequent updates to regional plans do not significantly impact the time taken to achieve objectives.”

Read more: “The plans they are a-changin’: more frequent iterative adjustment of regional priorities in the transition to local actions can benefit implementation” published today in the journal Wiley Diversity and Distribution.

Community MPA planning in remote Kubulau, on the south coast of Vanua Levu, Fiji. Image: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Community MPA planning in remote Kubulau, on the south coast of Vanua Levu, Fiji. Image: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au