The effects of stakeholder education and capacity building in marine protected areas: a case study from southern Mozambique

02 March 2020

Stakeholder engagement is a critical component of marine protected area (MPA) management. Education and capacity-building initiatives, in particular, have the potential to empower stakeholders, promote collaboration, create a culture of marine stewardship and encourage alternative and sustainable livelihoods. Empirical evidence on the impacts of these initiatives on stakeholders and MPAs is however still lacking. This study tested the impact of an ocean literacy, marine education and environmental monitoring initiative on stakeholders' views of conservation, community and livelihood in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve (PPMR) in southern Mozambique. Data were collected via two focus groups, one before and one after participation in the initiative. Stakeholders who participated in this research included representatives from governance, tourism and education sectors in the PPMR. Participation in the initiative had a positive effect on stakeholders' views of conservation, community and livelihood. Following the initiative, some of these views became more aligned with the goals of the PPMR, while others highlighted important issues to be addressed by management. This study demonstrates the bilateral nature of stakeholder engagement in MPAs, including stakeholder empowerment and steering management strategies