Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been used for decades to conserve biological diversity and ecological systems, underpinned by knowledge gained from natural science disciplines. However, little consideration has been given to understanding the human element. Oral histories as a research methodology can help address this. They can contribute significant new knowledge and insights to the planning and management of an MPA, and through the research process, build relationships with community, improve trust, and bridge the people-environment-management divide. This was demonstrated in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with seventy people from varied backgrounds who have a relationship with the SIMP. Three key themes were explored: the process to declare the SIMP, how and why people connect to the SIMP, and changes in the SIMP observed over time. This webinar will illustrate the substantial benefits of using oral history for MPA planning and management and will provide tips and best practices for using oral histories as a research methodology.
Presented by: Nicola Johnstone of New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Marine Strategy Implementation