Reflecting the slow progress made towards a establishing a global network of MPAs, the Convention on Biodiversity recently shifted its ambition of 10 per cent coverage of the world’s oceans from 2012 to 2020 (see Rife et al., 2013). The effectiveness of established parks has been questioned, with many labelled as ‘paper parks’. At local scales demands for coastal resources often exceed the capacity of those habitats to maintain a requisite level of biodiversity (Selig and Bruno, 2010). As variously argued (e.g. Selig and Bruno, 2010; Mascia et al., 2010; Chuenpagdee et al., 2013), meeting the national and global demands for MPA establishment remains firmly linked to the local contexts within which conservation activities are embedded. Although a more recent phenomenon than terrestrial-based private-led conservation (Norton, 2000), the role and scope of EMPAs has increased and
Figure 7.1 Map of three case studies and all other recorded EMPAs
diversified since being first introduced. Colwell’s (1997) initial description involved networks of small-scale protected areas managed by partnerships between local communities and private operators which “have a vested economic interest in promoting abundant marine life” (p. 110). He indicated that these discrete pockets of protected habitat can be developed within or in combination with state-led MPAs. Private-sector involvement is therefore seen as: (1) a short-term intervention that can stimulate the development of state-led protected areas by raising local awareness and building local capacity (Colwell, 1998); (2) a way of providing alternative sources of income to local communities, thereby reducing extractive pressure on marine resources (Dixon et al., 1993; Christie and White, 2007); and/or (3) a long-term means of establishing economic activities around marine conservation that can provide a durable source of funding (Bottema and Bush, 2012). The small number of studies of EMPA-like conservation initiatives have analysed the role of hotels in establishing no-take areas (e.g. Svensson et al., 2009), dive shop operated reef conservation (e.g. de Groot and Bush, 2010), publicprivate partnerships (e.g. Teh et al., 2008) and user fee systems (e.g. Dixon et al., 1993; Tongson and Dygico, 2004; Uyarra et al., 2010). While the majority of these studies have focused on ecological issues, co-management and the economics of private intervention, there is a dearth of sociological analysis on the role entrepreneurs play in marine conservation.