Marine Protected Area (MPA) management and governance is key in MPA effectiveness.

This paper examined the governance of three north-western Mediterranean MPAs: Port-Cros National Park (PCNP), Tavolara Punto-Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area (TPCCMPA) and Ustica Island Marine Protected Area (UIMPA).

Regarding governance approach, the study shows that in PCNP it is predominately stat-led with increased decentralisation and participation, whilst in TPCCMPA and UIMPA the management responsibility is shared between national and local governments.

The authors state that in PCNP, the use of legal and knowledge incentives has predominated governance and public acceptance has been boosted through increased use of participative incentives.

It is shown that in TPCCMPA and UIMPA both legal and economic incentives are the key mechanisms through which the MPAs are managed and conflicts addressed. The authors state that in these two MPAs, where the MPA management authority are faced with a lack of enforcement capacity, greater attention should be given to participate and interpretive incentives to boost stewardship and compliance.

It is concluded that overall, the current governance approaches are effective but do not address all challenges and cross-cutting issues faced. The authors stress that strengthened political will and leadership from all levels of government is required to improve governance towards more effective and equitable outcomes for all three MPAs, along with increased use of participative and interpretative incentives to generate an increased sense of community stewardship.

Hogg et al. (2021) Lessons from three north-western Mediterranean MPAs: A governance analysis of Port-Cros National Park, Tavolara Punta-Coda Cavallo and Ustica. Marine Policy 127: 102943.