Volume 72

A Review of SocMon Caribbean: Challenges and opportunities for improving the visibility and relevance of social science in management and policy

Lohmann, H; M. Pena
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 357

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


The Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management (SocMon) was developed to improve the understanding of the social and economic conditions, contexts and motivations associated with the use of coastal ecosystems relevant to coastal management. SocMon is a methodology to be incorporated into site monitoring frameworks and programs for improving adaptive management. Between 2005 - 2018, initial SocMon assessments were conducted at 26 sites in 12 Caribbean nations and territories. A 2018 review of SocMon Caribbean evaluated the impacts of the assessment activities and results to site and resource management by interviewing thirteen SocMon project leaders from eight nations and territories. Practitioners agreed that conducting participatory social science data collection improves trust and communication with stakeholders. Such results can greatly improve management effectiveness on the ground and provide a foundation of key learning for further investments in social science for more effective adaptive resource management. Commonly reported challenges regarding the influence of SocMon include lack of: economic valuation variables in SocMon, local leadership and ownership of SocMon, and post-SocMon support to further its impact. There is a gap between the introduction of social science tools to marine and coastal managers, and the uptake of those tools into management. The addition of more variables that describe economics, revenue and employment, and the addition of follow-up communication in the temporal and fiscal budgets for SocMon projects, could improve the use and impact of socioeconomic data on coastal and marine decisions. Adaptive marine and coastal resources management could improve if decision-makers increase investments (staff, programming, budgeting) to reduce stressors on natural resources.

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