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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT, 2017 VOL. 13, NO. 3, 1–17 https://doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2017.1345979 SPECIAL ISSUE: OPERATIONALISING MARINE AND COASTAL ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Integrated planning that safeguards ecosystems and balances multiple objectives in coastal Belize 1 2 2 a a b a c Gregory M. Verutes , Katie K. Arkema , Chantalle Clarke-Samuels , Spencer A. Wood , Amy Rosenthal , b b d a Samir Rosado , Maritza Canto , Nadia Bood and Mary Ruckelshaus a b The Natural Capital Project, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize City, Belize; Conservation and Sustainable Development Program, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL, USA; World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Belize), Belize City, Belize ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 31 October 2016 A growing number of nations aim to design coastal plans to reduce conflicts in space and safeguard Accepted 16 June 2017 ecosystems that provide important benefits to people and economies. Critics of coastal and ocean planning point to a complicated process with many actors, objectives, and uncertain outcomes. This EDITED BY paper explores one such decision-making process in Belize, which combines ecosystem service Joao Rodrigues modeling, stakeholder participation, and spatial planning to design the country’s first integrated coastal zone management plan, officially approved by the government in August 2016. We assessed KEYWORDS risk to threecoastal-marinehabitatsposedby eighthuman uses andquantifiedcurrentandfuture Coastal zone management; delivery of three ecosystem services: protection from storms, catch and revenue from lobster fishing, coastal and marine spatial planning; sustainable and tourism expenditures to identify a preferred zoning scheme. We found that a highly adaptive development; InVEST; team of planners, scientists, and analysts can overcome common planning obstacles, including a stakeholder engagement dearth of data describing the health of the coastal zone and the many uses it supports, complicated legal and political landscapes, and limited in-country technical capacity. Our work in Belize serves as anexampleforhowtousescienceaboutthewaysinwhich nature benefits people to effectively and transparently inform coastal and ocean planning decisions around the world. productivity of the coastal zone (Ruckelshaus et al. Introduction 2008; Halpern et al. 2012;White et al. 2012) and meet As 75 million people are born each year and similar the needs of present and future generations (Secretariat of numbers seek to raise their standard of living theConventiononBiologicalDiversity 2004;UN (Population Reference Bureau 2013), the Earth’scoastal General Assembly 2010; European Commission 2011). and marine ecosystems face expanding pressure from Several proposed frameworks can be used to guide coastal fisheries, aquaculture, energy production, land-based and ocean planning (Arkema et al. 2006;Leslieand pollution, shipping, recreation, other development activ- McLeod 2007;Day 2008;Becket al. 2009;Ehler and ities, and climate change (Millennium Ecosystem Douvere 2009; Kittinger et al. 2014), many of which Assessment 2005; Halpern et al. 2008;Wormetal. suggest incorporating ecosystem services and integrated 2009). The growing intensity and diversity of uses co- risk to species and habitats as elements of decision-mak- occurring in coastal zones have also led to conflicts ing (Koehn et al. 2013;Arkemaetal. 2014). among sectors competing for limited space. The cumu- lative impacts of these stressors increase risk of habitat degradation (Hobday et al. 2011; Williams et al. 2011; Tools for embedding ecosystem services into Samhouri and Levin 2012;Arkemaetal. 2014), often stakeholder-driven planning processes leading to the loss of benefits that natural systems provide to people and species. Different terms, including coastal Recent technological advances have made it possible for and ocean planning, marine spatial planning, coastal planners and researchers to couple stakeholder knowl- zone management, and land-sea planning, are often edge with science-based methods (Douvere 2008; Ehler used synonymously in the gray and peer-reviewed litera- 2008;Beck et al. 2009) that quantify the myriad risks to ture.For theeaseofcommunication,weuse theterm ecosystems and the benefits they afford to people now coastal and ocean planning to describe how human and and in the future (TEEB 2010; Guerry et al. 2012, 2015; natural systems at the land-sea interface can be managed Ruckelshaus et al. 2015). Stakeholder involvement is for multiple uses and across sectors to sustain the deemed to be a necessary ingredient for successful CONTACT Gregory M. Verutes email@example.com Present address for G.M. Verutes is National Audubon Society, San Francisco, CA, USA Present address for K.K. Arkema, S.A. Wood, and M. Ruckelshaus is School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA,USA © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 2 G. M. VERUTES ET AL. other countries engaging in coastal and ocean planning outcomes in coastal and ocean planning (Leslie and around the world. McLeod 2007; Lynam et al. 2007), since it creates the conditions for salient information about how ecosystem Belize is home to the largest unbroken section of the Mesoamerican Reef system, extensive seagrass services are used and valued to be collected and inte- meadows, and all four species of mangroves native grated into planning considerations, increasing stake- holder support for the resulting plans. Flexible decision- to the Caribbean (Neal et al. 2008). These ecosystems support a diversity of marine species, including the support tools that encourage early participation by sta- endangered West Indian manatee and green, hawks- keholders (Cárcamo et al. 2014) may enhance the qual- ity of decisions by incorporating more transparent, bill, and loggerhead sea turtles. Coral reefs, man- groves, and seagrasses also are critical to the comprehensive information sources (Reed 2008), economy and people of Belize. A 2009 study esti- increase the perception that the decisions are legitimate (Cash et al. 2003; UNEP and IOC-UNESCO 2009), and mated the value of Belize’s coral reefs and mangroves strengthen stakeholder knowledge (Gissi and de Vivero at between $395 and 559 million USD per year (Cooper et al. 2009) and more than 60% of the 2016) and social capital (Chess and Purcell 1999; Blackstock et al. 2012). Stakeholder visions and values population depends directly or indirectly on the (Rosenthal et al. 2015; Ruckelshaus et al. 2015)can goods and services provided by coastal and marine support planning and policy (Douvere and Ehler 2009; ecosystems (Statistical Institute of Belize 2010; WWF Domínguez-Tejo et al. 2016) by elaborating how alter- 2016). Tourism, fisheries, real estate, and agricultural native management decisions today could affect ecosys- industries underlie the economic health of the coun- tems and the benefits they provide to people in the try; however, they paradoxically threaten the ecosys- future. tems that make these activities possible (Rosenthal et al. 2012; Figure 1). To address these conflicts, the Government of Belize passed the Coastal Zone Management Act of The need for an integrated management plan in 1998, which recognized the need for multi-sectoral Belize planning to sustain habitats and their contributions Governments seek to improve ecological, economic, to Belizeans’ well-being. The Act called for an inte- an grated coastal zone management (ICZM) plan that d social outcomes for their citizens but often struggle to deliver these in an effective and transparent manner, would be national in scope while incorporating poli- tical, ecological, social, and technological drivers at especially when it comes to coastal- and marine-related subnational scales (Coastal Zone Management Act, sectors (Day et al. 2008; Agostini et al. 2010; Guerry et al. 2012; White et al. 2012; Arkema and Ruckelshaus Revised Edition 2003). The Act designated the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute 2017). Demand is growing for examples of places that (CZMAI) to address issues of rapid development, have engaged in coastal and ocean planning and how managers have used practical approaches and tools to overfishing, population growth, and environmental problems in the coastal zone and tasked it with design- balance development with the need to protect the envir- ing an integrated management plan. The overall goal onment. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS) was added in 2009 to UNESCO’sList of of the plan was to maintain ecosystem integrity while World Heritage in Danger and to date remains on this ‘ensuring the delivery of ecosystem service benefits for present and future generations of Belizeans and the list based on threats related to the removal of mangrove cover, unsustainable coastal development, and offshore global community’ (CZMAI 2016, p. 4). oil exploration. With the coastal nation of Belize at a One of the biggest obstacles to creating a robust, science-based plan that would safeguard Belize’s nat- crossroads, a recent government-led planning process offers a real-world example and relevant lessons to ural assets was a dearth of tools and limited synthesis Figure 1. Many coastal and marine uses co-occur in Belize’s coastal zone. Map depicts distribution of uses under the current management scenario (year 2010). Graphic courtesy of the Healthy Reefs Initiative. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 3 of existing data. Another challenge was a transparent (coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows) to people under alternative options for management approach to identify shared objectives and methods to assess alternative management actions and recom- (Arkema et al. 2015), referred to hereafter as scenar- mendations. National and local agencies in Belize ios. The scenarios for management of the coastal zone were elicited and refined through stakeholder engage- struggled to manage conflicting interests and man- dates and to make defensible, enduring decisions in ment and modeling of ecosystem services. We lever- managing coastal resources. Limited progress was aged several essential elements for a successful planning process, including an authoritative coastal made toward a national plan until 2010, when a collaboration formed between CZMAI and Natural zone management body (CZMAI), expertise in nat- Capital Project (NatCap). CZMAI led the policy ural and social sciences (NatCap), and the necessary relationships to connect policy priorities to science. design and stakeholder engagement and NatCap developed and tested new technical methods and The following subsections describe the four key steps tools. Together, our team codeveloped ecosystem ser- in the planning process. vice information within a stakeholder engagement process to inform the design of Belize’s first ICZM Project scoping and stakeholder engagement plan. In this article, we offer a roadmap for leveraging To articulate a strategy for the overall planning ecosystem services information to help managers and process, CZMAI first reached out to local leaders, stakeholders identify risks and measure how different university and NGO scientists, and government decisions can meet coastal and ocean planning objectives agencies through in-person meetings, interviews, based on lessons learned during a 6-year engagement. and an online survey. Initial feedback suggested Building on the framework proposed by Rosenthal et al. the need for a proactive and adaptive planning (2015), we describe four key steps in the science-policy approach to address national marine and coastal process applied in coastal Belize: (1) project scoping and issues within a specified timeframe, and to enable stakeholder engagement, (2) compiling knowledge to monitoring and evaluation. To this end, CZMAI quantify ecosystem services and map coastal and marine outlined four objectives for the ICZM Plan: (1) ecosystems and human activities, (3) developing future encourage sustainable resource use, (2) support zoning and management options, and (4) conducting an integrated development planning, (3) build alliances ecosystem service assessment: learning through iteration. to benefit Belizeans, and (4) adapt to climate These four steps were conducted iteratively, with a final change (CZMAI 2016). This set the stage for a result culminating in a coastal zone management plan larger, more extensive public engagement and approved by the Belizean government in 2016. Through knowledge-building process to support CZMAI’s repeated stakeholder engagement and valuation of fish- mandate of managing multiple uses across jurisdic- eries, coastal protection, and tourism benefits, we identi- tions (Figure 2), reducing user conflicts, and safe- fied data gaps, advanced our models, validated early guarding ocean and coastal benefits. findings, and improved science-based management During initial consultations, two key questions recommendations over time. Here, we present the tech- were asked: (1) which sectors and human uses in niques used to synthesize and communicate change in the coastal zone require improved management and the value of ecosystem services to stakeholders and pol- (2) where should these sectors and uses be located in icy-makers and discuss approaches used to convey the the future? Participants listed a variety of activities ability of alternative management options to meet plan- and described the relationship between these activ- ning objectives. We conclude by drawing out lessons ities and coastal and marine ecosystems, including fromourexperienceinBelizethatcan informother potential risks posed to their livelihoods and safety. coastal and ocean planning processes. Through these discussions, CZMAI and NatCap identified three priority benefits that coastal and mar- ine ecosystems in Belize provide to people: catch and Methods revenue from fisheries, visitors and expenditures We designed an integrated management plan for from tourism, and protection from storms. We used Belize through an iterative process that elicited the stakeholders’ responses and our own knowledge input from local stakeholders and experts, employed of key activities to identify eight human uses. We the best available science, involving codevelopment of then mapped these uses under the current manage- methods and metrics among scientists and decision- ment conditions and several alternative scenarios for makers, and produced tools for planners to use in the future management of the coastal zone (see the ongoing adaptive management. Using an ecosystem ‘Compiling knowledge to quantify ecosystem services services framework (Rosenthal et al. 2015; and map coastal and marine ecosystems and human Ruckelshaus et al. 2015), we evaluated changes in activities’ and ‘Developing future zoning and man- the benefits flowing from three natural habitats agement options’ sections). 4 G. M. VERUTES ET AL. Figure 2. (a) ICZM region including a 3-km inland boundary (dotted line) and territorial waters. CZMAI divides the coastal zone into nine planning regions based on geographical, biological, administrative, and economic similarities; (b) jurisdictional boundaries and co-management agreements across government agencies, mandates, and NGOs including (1) Blue Ventures, (2) Belize Audubon Society, (3) Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, (4) Friends of Swallow Caye, (5) Wildlife Conservation Society, (6) Southern Environmental Association, and (7) Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). CZMAI convened stakeholders in a variety of ways stakeholders. Communication through maps was an and multiple times. Throughout the process, stake- avenue through which CZMAI could relay how man- holders contributed data, codeveloped scenarios, and groves forests, for example, were at risk of degrada- reviewed and refined the scientific products that were tion from coastal development. Because mangroves incorporated into the ICZM Plan. Coastal Advisory support spiny lobster populations, which in turn sup- Committees (CACs) or similar stakeholder engage- port fishers, the health of mangroves was important ment fora, formed in each of the nine coastal plan- to the Belize Fisheries Department, a key entity ning regions (Figure 2a), included representatives whose support would be important for the ICZM from government, local and national NGOs, sectors Plan. Fisheries Department staff saw value in ecosys- that use the coastal and marine zones (such as pro- tem services information (e.g., linking the health of ducers’ or users’ associations for agriculture, tourism mangroves to lobster fisheries) to explain to stake- and fishing), academia, and civil society (such as holders and decision-makers that key habitats sup- indigenous peoples). In particular, CACs helped to port the export value of spiny lobster, a critical part of create storylines for future management scenarios the Belizean economy. Fisheries staff in turn shared and corresponding maps depicting the possible spa- additional data on the lobster fishery with CZMAI to tial extent and intensity of future activities. From incorporate in further iterations of the ecosystem October 2010 to February 2012, CZMAI organized service analysis. This transparent, iterative process 30 CAC and public meetings with over 200 people strengthened our collaboration with fisheries staff, across Belize’s nine coastal planning regions. During elicited valuable feedback that improved the rigor of these consultations, CZMAI facilitated discussions the analysis, and generated buy-in for the planning about local uses of the coastal zone, documented process. recommendations for future uses, presented the science and tools underlying the ecosystem service analysis, and sought feedback on modeled results. Compiling knowledge to quantify ecosystem To illustrate the power of an ecosystem services services and map coastal and marine ecosystems approach, we digitized recommendations from parti- and human activities cipants, ran models, and created maps highlighting where three ecosystem services changed under differ- We designed a knowledge acquisition and management ent scenarios and how this could lead to trade-offs strategy to consider first how data wouldbeusedduring among benefits flowing to different groups of the process (Halpern et al. 2012; Rosenthal et al. 2015) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 5 Table 1. Types of data and knowledge used by scientists and and what information would be needed to address the managers to quantify ecosystem services and to inform the planning objectives in a way that would resonate with 2016 Belize ICZM Plan. stakeholders. Research suggests that a data collection Knowledge use in strategy helps anticipate data needs, designs plausible Type Examples analytical models alternative scenarios, identifies gaps and options for eco- Geographic and Coastal zone boundary; Delineate coastal political planning regions; zone, jurisdictional system service analysis, and develops a program for reference coastline boundaries, area of monitoring and evaluation of results (Hockings 2003; interest for analysis Human activities Marine fishing, Map the current and Boyd and Banzhaf 2007;McKenzieetal. 2014). Of parti- transportation, and future distribution of cular importance to our process was gaining an under- recreation; coastal human uses standing of which metrics for ecosystem services would development; oil exploration; be of interest to stakeholders and government planners agricultural runoff; (Day 2008; Cornu et al. 2014). By metrics, we mean the dredging; aquaculture Ecological Coral reefs, mangrove Assess where and to biophysical, socioeconomic, and cultural units necessary and littoral forests, what extent different to quantify current and future ecosystem services. Early and seagrass beds ecosystems are at (presence/absence highest risk and outputs from our predictive models based on coarse, and condition) could lose the ability globally available datasets served as a foundation for to provide important discussionswithstakeholdersand managers about benefits Physical Elevation (topography Map key benefits from which metrics would be meaningful to them. We could and bathymetry); nature including then collect the necessary data to both model these wave and wind coastal protection, conditions; built fisheries, and services and quantify them in specific ways, including infrastructure tourism the amount of risk posed by different activities to critical opportunities Socio-economic Property values; market Value nature’s benefits habitats, fisheries catch (lbs) and revenue ($), visitation value of lobster; currently and (number of people) and expenditures ($) by tourists, and average expenditures potential changes in by tourists and the future land protection (m ) and avoided damages ($) from visitation rates storm-induced flooding and erosion. Another category of data and knowledge compila- tion was the mapping of human activities and natural features, which we did in close collaboration with various government agencies and NGOs. Our initial We compiled the individual activities described by sta- keholders during the scoping phase into categories they inventory of data revealed dispersed information identified. CZMAI mapped coastal and marine activ- sources. No one agency or organization maintained a central data repository characterizing the coastal ities as eight general use zoning categories: coastal development, marine transportation, dredging, fishing, zone. Thus, we compiled information from databases marine recreation, oil exploration, aquaculture, and collected and housed by ministries and departments in the Belizean government and through regional agricultural runoff (CZMAI 2016). These zoning cate- gories (or ‘zones’) established a clear starting point for efforts to monitor seagrasses and mangroves (i.e., different sectors to communicate how and where com- Wabnitz et al. 2008; Cherrington et al. 2010). We also extracted and digitized relevant information patible uses could co-occur in the future. For example, from planning documents and policies, often meeting the marine transportation zone mapped pathways of directly with local experts and stakeholders to under- both water taxis and cruise ships but did not differenti- stand how and where they use and interact with ate the two activities. coastal resources, including reefs and culturally CZMAI’s role as lead coastal resource manager important areas. Table 1 shows examples of the enabled our team to forge relationships with infor- types of information collected, such as the elevation mation officers from both the public and private and shape of the coastline, the distribution of coastal sectors. When gathering information and filling and marine habitats, expenditures by tourists, the knowledge gaps, we were strategic in deciding value of coastal assets, and maps of human activities who would make the request and how to describe (e.g., traditional fishing grounds, dredging of sedi- our intended use of the data. We thought carefully ment for shipping channels or aquaculture). about how ICZM could help individual depart- After information was acquired, we faced additional ments meet their objectives and this enabled our data management challenges, including the need to team to shape the ICZM Plan to be consistent process and combine incongruences in surveys across with missions of different agencies and NGOs. acquisition dates, spatial resolution, and mapping units. We made every effort to include providers of To keep spatial representations of each human activity data in future consultations – giving them the distinct and avoid common pitfalls associated with mis- opportunity to see how their data, knowledge, matches in scale of data, we mapped coastal and ocean and expertise were incorporated into the planning uses at the scale used for national and regional zoning. process, and to correct errors or misuse of data. 6 G. M. VERUTES ET AL. environmental health through conservation of existing For example, CZMAI invited the Belize Fisheries ecosystems. The Development scenario storyline pre- Department to a demonstration of an early version of the spiny lobster fishery model built around sented a vision of rapid economic growth based on natural resource utilization and urban expansion. It their survey data (Little and Watson 2005;De prioritized immediate development needs and the inter- Leon González et al. 2008) to provide feedback and inform the model development process. ests of coastal developers and extractive industries over the proactive preservation of ecosystem services. As the process progressed, this scenario came to represent a plausiblefutureforthecoastal zonewhereconstruction Developing future zoning and management and development occurred without zoning guidelines. options We also designed a third, Middle-of-the-road,scenario Stakeholders from each planning region had different that merged elements of the Conservation and opinions about future uses of Belize’s coastal zone, Development scenarios. underscoring the complex challenges faced by govern- The three future scenarios varied by the configura- ment agencies, resource managers, and policy-makers in tion and intensity of human use, which helped isolate evaluating trade-offs between specific investment oppor- key drivers of change affecting the ecosystem services tunities and their environmental or economic impacts of interest to stakeholders and policy-makers. The (Reed et al. 2009;Maguire et al. 2012). CZMAI staff team started this process by coarsely mapping organized stakeholder consultations to elicit storylines descriptions of plausible futures, considering the cur- describing alternative values and visions of the future. rent distribution of human activities, existing and Together the team created three distinct cross-sectoral pending government plans, and stakeholders’ values scenarios based on existing and alternative development and preferences. We refined maps of alternative proposals and stakeholder preferences. Scenario analyses futures by adjusting assumptions about how human were used to frame the management options under con- uses would be managed – and their effects on coastal sideration, guide the spatial planning process so that it ecosystems – under the alternative scenarios, based met the planning objectives (sustained future economy, on input from stakeholders, scientists, and further access to traditional fisheries, and security from coastal modeling. At smaller scales, we included details hazards), and to design well-defined interventions for such as where marinas could be built or which areas addressing management objectives in the face of future needed industry or tourism development. The result- climate (Henrichs et al. 2010). ing spatial representations of human use (Figure 3) As a first step, we used stakeholder input and manage- described possible action plans that included a diver- ment objectives to design two extreme scenarios to book- sity of perspectives about how the future should look endthe rangeoffutureplanning options. The and where decisions made now could impact the flow Conservation future prioritized a vision of long-term of coastal and marine benefits to people in the future. Figure 3. Zones of human use for three alternative future management scenarios in the year 2025. Scenario storylines are based on a 15-year vision of the future using 2010 state-of-play as the baseline. As described in Arkema et al. (2015), the final iteration of the Informed Management scenario was ultimately chosen as the preferred scenario for the integrated coastal zone management plan (CZMAI 2016). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 7 communicate how management decisions made Conducting an ecosystem service assessment: today would influence changes to key benefits in the learning through iteration future. We built and tested several ecosystem service models To improve the legitimacy and accuracy of our (Arkema et al. 2015) to predict how changes in coral, understanding of how management recommenda- seagrass, and mangrove habitats – and different sce- tions affect key ecosystem services in Belize, we narios of management of those habitats identified by repeatedly revisited each step in the entire science- stakeholders – would lead to changes in the amounts policy process as part of three distinct iterations of protection from storms, lobster harvest, and tour- (August 2012, November 2012, and August 2013; ism revenues. Spatial estimates of value were com- Figure 5). Because each iteration required significant puted with models from the Integrated Valuation of time and partner engagement, our team was able to Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) software complete only three iterations over the lifetime of the (Sharp et al. 2016). First, risk to key habitats posed by project. Our initial ecosystem service analyses the eight human activities was mapped and measured revealed that the Middle-of-the-road scenario would with the InVEST habitat risk assessment (HRA) result in nearly as much risk of degraded habitats and model (Arkema et al. 2014; Figure 4). The InVEST associated services as the Development scenario. HRA model draws on an ecological risk assessment Inherent in CZMAI’s design of the process was approach to identify risk to natural habitats by repeated refinement of the Middle-of-the-road sce- accounting for locations of specific activities. Maps nario by relocating human activities to safeguard and summary tables identified where cumulative risk ecosystems and support sustainable development of from multiple stressors is greatest now and in the coastal resources based on the results of our scientific future, and which specific human activities contribute models (see below and Arkema et al. 2015). This to this risk. middle option drew out commonalities between two Next, risk maps produced by HRA served as eco- distinct stakeholder perspectives, highlighted the system inputs for three InVEST ecosystem service drawbacks of certain Conservation and Development models: (1) fisheries production, using habitat distri- alternatives, and gained support because it integrated bution, life-history information, and survival para- stakeholder feedback. The revised Middle-of-the-road meters to estimate the volume of spiny lobster scenario came to be known as the Informed harvest (Arkema et al. 2015), (2) coastal protection, Management scenario, and by the end of the process, to quantify the protective services provided by near- this spatial arrangement of human activities was sub- shore habitats in terms of avoided erosion and flood stantially different from what it initially started as. By mitigation (Guannel et al. 2015, 2016), and (3) tour- treating the Informed Management scenario as a ism, to predict spatial shifts in visitors and visitor dynamic view of potential future activities shaped related expenditure based on the locations of natural by stakeholder reactions to each iteration of the man- habitats and other features that factor into people’s agement scenarios and corresponding ecosystem ser- decisions about where to recreate (Wood et al. 2013). vice results, our team was able to begin building We produced spatially explicit values for ecosystem consensus around a shared future vision. services in both biophysical and economic units to Figure 4. Conceptual model of the stakeholder-driven process undertaken by CZMAI and NatCap to co-develop methods, tools, and results. Risk to habitats posed by the intensity and distribution of human activities described in zoning scenarios can alter ecosystem function and its ability to provide services (habitat risk assessment). InVEST models were applied in Belize to map and measure this risk and then to map and value three ecosystem services in biophysical and economic units. 8 G. M. VERUTES ET AL. Figure 5. Ecosystem services provide useful metrics for coastal and ocean planning. Our science-policy process of engagement contains explicit hypotheses about (1) human activities and earth processes, (2) ecosystem processes, condition, and distribu- tion, and (3) benefits flowing to people from ecosystems. The first complete draft of the Belize ICZM Plan round of scenarios was developed, to determine the underwent a 30-day public review from 16 May to 12 level of satisfaction with participation in the planning June 2013. This mandated review period provided the process. Additionally, CZMAI and NatCap staff con- project team with avenues through which to collect ducted 14 key informant interviews to gather more feedback and to incorporate improvements into a in-depth feedback on the science-policy process and final iteration of the zoning scheme and ecosystem stakeholder engagement. The coastal planning and service analyses, completed in August 2013. CZMAI ecosystem services teams (Table 2) based in Belize reached out directly to stakeholders through regional and the United States continued refining the scenar- CACs, television and radio ads, announcements in ios, data, and scientific models. To improve the zon- print news and media, convened public meetings in ing in the scenario selected for the management plan, coastal regions, and shared educational materials our team identified regions where the InVEST mod- related to the process. NatCap compiled feedback els indicated that ecosystem service delivery would from two online surveys (n = 200), administered decrease relative to the present scenario and made during the initial scoping period and after the first small adjustments in the location and extent of zones INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 9 Table 2. Roles and responsibilities of the core project team, collaborators, stakeholders and government officials and their specific contribution to the scoping phase, stakeholder engagement, design and eventual implementation of Belize’s first ICZM Plan. Lead organization Roles and responsibilities Contribution to public engagement and overall process CZMAI Coastal planning team Communicated with stakeholders; coordinated input and Policy lead and convening body for stakeholders; outputs from the CZM Advisory Council knowledge management NatCap Science team Supported CZMAI in collection and management of technical Developed ecosystem service tools and approaches, information; brought science and policy together to improve refined analysis, and visualization of results through and benefit one another science-policy processes CZM Advisory Council NGOs and government agencies Provided technical inputs and coordination support; will assist Data and knowledge provider; scientific advisory role with implementation, monitoring and updating the plan in a technical and operational role CAC Stakeholders Prioritized key ecosystem services and identified elements of Local experts and members of civil society who future scenarios; repeatedly reviewed regional findings and participated in multiple rounds of planning the ability of draft future plans in meeting planning meetings objectives CZMAI Board of Directors CEOs representing Belize Cabinet ministers Delivered feedback at key decision points to ensure the Oversight for policy coordination across ministries and implementation plan was clear and measurable; social NGO partners capital CAC: Coastal Advisory Committees; CZM: Coastal Zone Management; NatCap: Natural Capital Project; CZMAI: Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute. to improve ecosystem service delivery for a final coastal protection services by showing how the coastline national zoning scheme, which stakeholders would change as a result of more intense storm events reviewed. and rising seas under different scenarios. Our subse- quent visuals were able to demonstrate how mangrove, coral reef, and seagrass ecosystems, together with other habitats in the seascape, provide important co-benefits, Results helping the coastal zone recover during non-storm Our analysis of ecosystem services revealed differ- events and ensuring the long-term viability of the sys- ences in benefits across scenarios, driven in part by tem (Guannel et al. 2016). the variation in risk posed by human activities to Based on findings from surveys and interviews con- sensitive habitats. For instance, in planning regions ducted during the planning process, we learned that where large areas of habitat experienced significant repeated engagement made stakeholders feel more impacts due to the combined effects of multiple uses, committed to the process and optimistic about the model results suggested declines in lobster catch and potential for positive outcomes. We heard that the revenue and greater exposure of coastal populations technical elements of our approach (e.g., use of maps to hazards. The coastal protection provided to and quantitative data, incorporation of stakeholder Belizean people and infrastructure varied among ideas and values into the assessment) were some of future zoning scenarios and planning regions due to the main reasons stakeholders were continuing to par- differences in the functional habitat available for ticipate in the process. However, feedback also sug- reducing exposure and risk during storm events. gested that our team could improve communication The results were also influenced by differences in about data inputs, clarify how and why quantitative socioeconomic factors among scenarios, especially models were being used, and translate the jargon of for tourism and coastal protection benefits. Returns ecosystem services into layman’s terms. Finally, we from these two services were highest under an were able to infer the importance of good facilitation Informed Management scenario due to changes in during CAC consultations to resolve conflicts and the coastal development layer, extent of higher value retain stakeholder involvement in the process. property, and amount of infrastructure to support tourism (Arkema et al. 2015). Numerical and mapped outputs from the ecosystem Synthesizing and communicating information service models, combined with comparative graphs and summary tables, illustrated clear differences across CAC members helped the team develop and present compelling planning regions and alternative future plans in the narratives and clear conclusions based on amount of land protected and property damage that their understanding of which information about nat- was avoided due to the presence of mangrove forests, ure’s benefits would resonate with policy-makers and coral reefs, and seagrass meadows (in Arkema et al. stakeholders. It was notable to local leaders, for 2015,Figure 2; Appendix). Ministry representatives example, that under the Informed Management sce- expressed a preference for communicating the value of nario, spiny lobster catch was predicted to increase by 10 G. M. VERUTES ET AL. Management Organization also used maps and more than 25% nationally, compared to current graphs from the Plan to support their disaster risk returns. Also of note, tourism expenditures by visitors to the Northern planning region for the Informed reduction plans, specifically to illustrate where changes in coastal protection services would lead Management scenario were double that of a to more at-risk populations and infrastructure, Development future (see Appendix). Feedback from participants of the planning process helped us con- including coastal access points, schools, and emer- gency services. An online map viewer, available tinually adapt our approach to synthesizing results. through CZMAI’s website in early 2013, enabled We were able to break through common obstacles to effective engagement by conveying stories and action- both public and private interests to interact with multimedia displays of scenario storylines and able recommendations that offered stakeholders emerging analytical results (Natural Capital Project something to react to, created opportunities for addi- tional dialogue, and, most importantly, ensured 2013). These outreach tools and products offered a transparency in the process. more accessible, dynamic content stream and helped readers to understand potential implications Three ways of visualizing results – by location, by amount, and by service – were found to be relevant of the draft Plan. and comprehensible to stakeholders because it allowed them to identify synergies (‘win–wins’) and trade-offs The ICZM plan approval process among human uses and ecosystem benefits at both the national and planning region scale. The visuals The review, endorsement, and ultimate approval of embedded in the Plan (CZMAI 2016) built on previous the Belize ICZM Plan by the CZM Advisory Council, techniques for communicating ecosystem services CZMAI Board, Cabinet, and Parliament was central information and illustrating how alternative scenarios to the science-policy process and required new synth- affect monetary and non-monetary outcomes eses and communications. Repeated engagement of (Raudsepp-Hearne et al. 2010; Guerry et al. 2012; key stakeholders over several months in mid-2015 White et al. 2012; Bateman et al. 2013; Waite et al. enabled the CZMAI to inform and educate them 2014). As an example, coastal protection and tourism about the Plan’s content and implications. This were a win–win under the preferred Informed secured buy-in for the Plan and created momentum Management scenario in the three southern planning for its final approval. The steps taken to move the regions. The trade-off was that ecosystem risk was Plan through the legally required processes and for- greater and fisheries revenue lower for that scenario mal channels for approval in accordance with the relative to the Conservation scenario in those regions. Coastal Zone Management Act are listed in Table 3. However, fisheries revenue increased and risk to habi- In October 2015, with only one step remaining tats decreased in the Informed Management scenario in the Plan’s approval process (submission of a relative to the current situation. By assessing spatial formal request to the Cabinet for Plan approval variation in services and their values and then con- and endorsement), Belize’sPrime Minister called verting standard model outputs into relevant metrics, elections for early November 2015. This resulted we produced a suite of visualizations that ultimately in the immediate dissolution of the Cabinet and made sense to participants in the planning process. postponement of the Plan’s approval until a new Government of Belize Administration assumed office. The elections also had implications for the Outreach for the ICZM plan CZMAI Board, which was dissolved and subse- A variety of outreach tools were deployed to inform quently reappointed under a newly realigned the public and private sectors about the ICZM Ministry (Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the planning process and how alternative decisions Environment, and Sustainable Development). It canhavebetterorworse outcomes forbothpeople was essential at this stage in the process to demon- and nature. A social simulation, called ‘Tradeoff! strate how the draft Plan reflected master plans, Best Coast Belize’, at a November 2012 workshop national development strategies, and planning fra- highlighted three important ocean objectives meworks. Subsequent to the November elections, expressed by Belizeans: coastal protection, tourism, CZMAI reached out to its new Minister in order and fisheries. The game board displayed colorful to cultivate support for the Plan once again and maps and included a point system to help govern- conduct a second public review period in late ment officials, sector representatives, scientists, and 2015, following the appointment of a new Board students understand the types of data, tools, of Directors for the Ministry. Feedback collected assumptions, and considerations that go into eco- during this final stage of review informed the system service approaches for decision-making, and design of outreach products and events, including how human choices can influence change (Verutes a Coastal Awareness Week in March 2016 to coin- and Rosenthal 2014). Belize’s National Emergency cide with the official launch of the Plan. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 11 Table 3. Key activities and timelines toward approval of the Belize ICZMP from 2015 to 2016. Activity Timing Preparation of first draft of ICZM Plan by CZMAI staff January 2014 Amending the CZM Act and reconstituting the Board of Directors for the CZMAI September 2014 Presentation of draft ICZM Plan at Special Meeting of the CZMAI Board of Directors February 2015 Presenting the Plan to Ministerial CEOs, with an emphasis on integrated planning and socio-economic realities of resource March–April 2015 utilization Completion of updates to ICZM Plan as a result of recommendations from internal review process by CZMAI Board of May 2015 Directors Dissemination of Cabinet Information Paper on ICZM Plan Early June 2015 Informational Session with Ministerial CEO Caucus led by CZMAI staff Mid-June 2015 Publication of Order in Government Gazette to commence Public Review Period Late June 2015 Commencement of 60-day Public Review Period 7 July 2015 Closure of 60-day Public Review Period 7 September 2015 Revision of Plan with comments received during public review September 2015 Board Approval of Revised Plan at Special Meeting 15 October 2015 Preparation of draft Cabinet Memorandum to seek approval for formal adoption of ICZM Plan Late October 2015 Elections called for Belize 4 November 2015 Reconstitution of CZMAI Board of Directors January 2016 Special Meeting of the CZMAI Board of Directors to apprise Minister on the Plan and seek support to champion approval 4 February 2016 of the Plan by Cabinet Submission of joint Cabinet Memorandum with physical copy of final revised ICZM Plan and guidelines. Cabinet grants 9 February 2016 approval for ICZM Plan Submission of Request for Formal Approval and Adoption of ICZM Plan via Affirmative Resolution by House of July 2016 Representatives and Senate as required by CZM Act Approval of ICZM Plan by affirmative resolution 31 August 2016 Effective implementation date for ICZM Plan by publication of three consecutive notices in the Government Gazette 24 September 2016 Year 2014 activities relate to the time period when CZMAI was without a Board of Directors and had to amend the CZM Act in order to address board composition issues. Discussion integrity while ensuring the delivery of ecosystem ben- efits for present and future generations of Belizeans After 20 years of relationship building, scientific and the global community' (CZMAI 2016, p. 4). Given advances, and local-capacity strengthening, Belize’s the political complexities and financial realities facing Cabinet endorsed the ICZM Plan on 22 February 2016 the CZMAI and other agencies tasked with managing (CZMAI 2016) and its Parliament officially approved it Belize’s coastal zone, an implementation and action by affirmative resolution on 28 August 2016. This spa- plan is necessary to guide their efforts in translating tial plan, described as visionary by UNESCO (2016), the strategic steps outlined in the ICZM Plan into considers the needs of multiple sectors and stake- concrete action and coordinate state and non-state holders, advances the management of coastal and mar- actors around future actions required, including com- ine ecosystems, and explicitly accounts for nature’s prehensive tracking, monitoring, and evaluation of benefits to people. Building on coastal and ocean plan- progress. Implementation and monitoring began in ning approaches around the globe, we codeveloped an 2016. A recent loan from the Inter-American approach to incorporate stakeholder visions and values Development Bank to the Ministry of Tourism for – through changes in ecosystem services and risk to implementing Belize’s Sustainable Tourism Plan is a habitats – into an integrated management plan for the promising advance (Arkema and Ruckelshaus 2017). coastal nation of Belize. By sharing results at key deci- sion points, obtaining feedback, and revising the scien- tific methods, we were able to refine and improve our Limitations and simplifications approach, while also maintaining the technical rigor, The InVEST ecosystem service models were designed and ensuring local visions and values informed the and tailored to report service returns at Belize’s process. This stakeholder-driven process involved the national and planning region scales. The quality and coproduction of new data and tools to map the present scarcity of input data, and the uncertainty of the condition of Belize’s marine ecosystems and design models, was a limiting factor. We did not consider alternative zoning configurations that considered exist- advances in technology as a driver of change in the ing legal mandates, jurisdictional boundaries, policies, future management scenarios (Villasante and Sumaila strategies, and region-specific management guidelines. 2010) or explicitly consider climate change impacts in the ecosystem services valuation. Ecosystem service beneficiaries were assumed to be uniform across the Next steps: implementation and action plan study area in the absence of information to properly The Belize ICZM Plan is a framework for national disaggregate by demographic or beneficiary type action 'to facilitate improved management of coastal (Boyd and Banzhaf 2007; Daw et al. 2011; Myers and marine ecosystems so as to maintain their et al. 2013), limiting what can be said about the 12 G. M. VERUTES ET AL. including environmental organizations, government environmental justice of the zoning scheme (Flannery agencies and ministries, local universities, and civil and Ellis 2016). To address some of these limitations, CZMAI has society, supported the process in Belize by providing valuable local knowledge. The ICZM Plan gained partnered with technologists, NGOs, and sustainabil- support from various sectors and interests – from ity science students to design a monitoring protocol. Given the short time horizon for this coastal plan tourism to fishing to environmental organizations – because stakeholders felt that they could inform the (2010–2025) and resource constraints, we mapped process and could see how the science and policy human uses at the zoning scale, which was sufficient for answering questions related to near-term decisions questions were relevant to their interests. This came from multiple, sequential interactions using visual and policies but could be improved and more finely products, like maps and cumulative impacts, with delineated in the future. Since the Plan will be revised over a 4-year time period, CZMAI’s Data Centre under metrics that were important to stakeholders, such as the Marine Conservation & Climate Adaptation lobster catch and revenue and expenditures from tourism. Project is responsible for managing an inventory of development sites and activities for cayes and coastal Embedding ecosystem services into the Belize areas within the nine planning regions. This will serve planning process resulted in a science-based and sta- to assess ICZM Plan compliance and monitor proper keholder-supported plan. We found that bringing implementation of the development guidelines for together science, policy, and stakeholders can have each region within the 4-year time period. To fulfill beneficial outcomes for each element of the process. the final strategic objective, CZMAI intends to incor- We believe that an ecosystem service approach facil- porate climate change effects in an updated ecosystem itates the interaction between these three elements. In service assessment as they revisit the Plan. particular, we find that good practice in coastal and ocean planning applies a stepwise, iterative approach to engage stakeholders, incorporates different visions Lessons learned and values into coastal plans, keeps partners informed, and enables researchers to improve data Change takes time. The process described here took and methods over time. 6 years, building on efforts from many institutions Initially, we struggled to harmonize seemingly dis- and individuals in Belize since the 1990s, and bene- parate information sources, but a unique combina- fited from long-term commitment by the core team tion of regional monitoring data, expert opinion, and and flexible, multi-year philanthropic and institu- nontraditional sources advanced our understanding tional resources. Turnover of professionals in govern- of anthropogenic threats and conservation needs in ment and allied institutions, as well as other realities the coastal zone. The development of simple, open- facing national development planning, is likely to source models (Arkema et al. 2013, 2015; Wood et al. make similar processes take longer than anyone ima- 2013; Guannel et al. 2015, 2016) gave the plan a base gines at the outset. Without the long-term institu- in existing scientific and stakeholder information that tional commitment and flexible resources from could be understood and assessed by people in Belize engaged donors supporting the team and our work, affected by coastal and ocean management decisions. the Belize Plan might not have been adopted. Our CZMAI staff served as early end-users enabling the core team, separated by more than 6000 km, was NatCap team to codify user requirements, house the limited to conducting three major iterations. It’s models in planner-friendly tools (http://www.natural likely that further iterations could have made addi- capitalproject.org), and incorporate capacity develop- tional, marginal improvements to the Plan and scien- ment into the planning process. Repeatedly revisiting tific tools. steps in the process improved scientific outputs over Previous planning efforts by NatCap and others time, enhanced buy-in among stakeholders, and sup- highlight the importance of scientists, planners, and ported uptake by policymakers to move the process stakeholders codeveloping objectives, scenarios, forward through key decision points. This made the science, and tools to ensure that resulting plans process more transparent and refined communica- and policies will facilitate responsible decision-mak- tion products to be easier to update during future ing and be meaningful to those involved (Cash et al. plan revisions, which are anticipated every four years. 2003;McKenzieetal. 2014; Ruckelshaus et al. 2015; Our experience indicates that coastal plans that Schultz et al. 2015;Posner etal. 2016). Yet, effective consider trade-offs among alternative scenarios by stakeholder engagement requires clear, frequent, comparing key metrics for ecosystem services will and thoughtful communication to a diverse set of resonate more deeply with local people, planners, stakeholders for successful and broadly supported government officials, and policy-makers. The fra- science-policy processes like coastal and ocean plan- mework presented here is designed to be modular, ning (Rosenthal et al. 2015; Arkema and offering scalable solutions to coastal nations seeking Ruckelshaus 2017). Many people and institutions, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 13 to assess the response of ecosystem services and ICZM Plan for Belize would not have been possible. Finally, we thank two anonymous reviewers whose sugges- biodiversity to different policy and management tions greatly improved the manuscript. Vector images of options, meet sustainable development goals coral, mangrove, and seagrass were obtained from the (Pereira et al. 2013; Geijzendorffer et al. 2015), or Integration and Application Network, University of Open Standards conservation targets (Conservation Maryland Center for Environmental Science (ian.umces. Measures Partnership 2013; Grantham et al. 2010), edu/imagelibrary/). and its utility should not be limited to places with similar environmental, social, or political condi- Disclosure statement tions. Using a portfolio of conservation strategies and actions outlined in the ICZMP, our in-country No potential conflict of interest was reported by the partners are in dialogue with the Government of authors. Belize to address the key indicators needed for the BBRRS to be removed from UNESCO’s ‘in danger’ Funding list. This work was supported by the Summit Foundation, Google via the Tides Foundation, and the Gordon & Conclusion Betty Moore Foundation [grant numbers 1874.01 and 1874.02]. Through an ecosystem services approach that involved stakeholders, we worked with Belizeans to consider different visions for future environmental stewardship References and economic prosperity. 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Evaluating impacts of fishing on INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 17 Appendix Estimated economic returns by ecosystem service, planning region, and scenario Current Conservation Informed management Development Lobster fishery Revenue (hundreds of thousand BZ$) Northern 2 3 2 1 Ambergris Caye 12 25 21 3 Caye Caulker 3 5 4 0 Central 55 70 59 1 Turneffe Atoll 17 22 20 1 Lighthouse Reef Atoll 4 5 4 1 South Northern 15 20 17 3 South Central 8 12 10 1 Southern 20 48 47 10 Total 160 240 210 30 Tourism Expenditures (millions BZ$) Northern 27 30 118 63 Ambergris Caye 32 32 62 35 Caye Caulker 7 10 15 5 Central 61 98 174 71 Turneffe Atoll 12 15 30 30 Lighthouse Reef Atoll 6 13 38 9 South Northern 38 51 82 32 South Central 34 41 98 42 Southern 14 32 90 28 Total 230 320 710 320 Coastal protection Avoided damages (hundreds of million BZ$) Northern 6 6 9 9 Ambergris Caye 2 4 10 5 Caye Caulker 0 0 1 0 Central 16 17 19 10 Turneffe Atoll 2 2 2 4 Lighthouse Reef Atoll 0 0 0 0 South Northern 8 10 9 6 South Central 9 16 26 13 Southern 6 6 8 7 Total 48 61 83 55
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management – Taylor & Francis
Published: Nov 29, 2017
Keywords: Coastal zone management; coastal and marine spatial planning; sustainable development; InVEST; stakeholder engagement
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