Human Dimensions of Large Marine Protected Areas: Negotiations Over A Proposed Large Scale Marine Protected Area in Bermuda, 2010-2015
This report describes results from a research project examining negotiations over a proposed Large Scale Marine Protected Area (LSMPA) in the offshore waters of Bermuda. Negotiations occurred from 2010-2015, and did not result in the designation of an LSMPA. Although Bermuda may eventually declare an LSMPA, the report focuses on the 2010-2015 efforts. Acton spent approximately six months over the years 2014-2016, collecting qualitative data for this project in Bermuda, London, Washington, DC, and Sydney, Australia. In this report, we summarize some of the social, political, economic, and governance aspects of these negotiations. In particular, we focus on the key actors involved and their roles in negotiations, the divisive politics that emerged through these negotiations both within Bermuda and at an international level, and the outcomes of the negotiations as reported by project interviewees. Key outcomes of these negotiations included the erosion of trust and relationships, increased public engagement with oceans governance in Bermuda, interactions with other ocean conservation efforts, and greater insights concerning how Bermudians and others value Bermuda’s offshore ocean spaces. The report concludes with lessons learned from this case study about the “human dimensions” of LSMPAs more broadly.