eCite Digital Repository

Building trust among marine protected area managers and community members through scientific research: insights from the Ningaloo Marine Park, Australia


Cvitanovic, C and van Putten, EI and Hobday, AJ and Mackay, M and Kelly, R and McDonald, J and Waples, K and Barnes, P, Building trust among marine protected area managers and community members through scientific research: insights from the Ningaloo Marine Park, Australia, Marine Policy, 93 pp. 195-206. ISSN 0308-597X (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2018.04.010


The success of participatory marine governance arrangements is influenced by the levels of trust that exist between decision-makers and diverse stakeholder groups within the community. While the benefits of high levels of trust among these groups is well established, specific approaches to building trust remain largely unknown. The aim of this study is to understand the extent to which scientific research programs can enhance trust among marine protected area (MPA) managers and community members via an evaluation of the Ningaloo Research Program - a large-scale program of marine research in the Ningaloo Marine Park. Results from a survey of 125 local residents show that community members along the Ningaloo coast believe that scientific research is important for the management of the marine park, and strongly support government investment in scientific research in the region. Results also suggest that science undertaken through the Ningaloo Research Program has increased the extent to which community members trust local managers, which study participants believe has led to improved social and environmental outcomes in the region. Finally, additional opportunities are identified to maintain and further enhance trust between community members and MPA managers, via targeted communication and engagement programs that account for different personality ‘types’. In particular, the establishment of citizen science programs might further build trust. These results suggest that scientific research could be used as a means to increase trust among decision-makers and community members when coupled with an effective communication and outreach program, thus enhancing the success of participatory marine governance arrangements.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:participatory governance, trust, collective action, communication, social cohesion, citizen science
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Cvitanovic, C (Dr Christopher Cvitanovic)
UTAS Author:van Putten, EI (Dr Ingrid Van Putten)
UTAS Author:Hobday, AJ (Dr Alistair Hobday)
UTAS Author:Mackay, M (Ms Mary Mackay)
UTAS Author:Kelly, R (Dr Rachel Kelly)
UTAS Author:McDonald, J (Professor Jan McDonald)
ID Code:125724
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2018-05-02
Last Modified:2018-11-26

Repository Staff Only: item control page