Note from the editor: Peter Jones, author of the perspective piece below, is a lecturer in coastal and estuarine management at the University College London (UCL), UK. In recent conservation agency funded research, he and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of participatory planning processes for marine protected areas in the UK. Lessons drawn from these processes may be of general interest to MPA practitioners elsewhere, and reflect the importance of building trust and confidence among participating groups.
Jones adapted the piece below from a paper he co-wrote with Jacquie Burgess and Darren Bhattachary of the Environment and Society Research Unit, UCL ("An Evaluation of Approaches for Promoting Relevant Authority and Stakeholder Participation in European Marine Sites in the UK: Final Report to the UK Marine SACs Project", September 2001. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a summary of the report).