Main content area

A transdisciplinary framework proposal for surf break conservation and management: Bahía de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve

Arroyo, Mara, Levine, Arielle, Espejel, Ileana
Ocean & coastal management 2019 v.168 pp. 197-211
anthropogenic activities, coastal zone management, collaborative management, environmental impact, government agencies, guidelines, humans, stakeholders, Mexico
This paper combines the Social-Ecological System (SES), the Driving Forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) and Adaptive Co-management frameworks to provide practical guidelines to address environmental issues facing surf breaks. We applied these frameworks to Bahía de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve (BTSWSR), located in Ensenada, Baja California in northern Mexico. We gathered information through a literature review and a review of activities undertaken by the BTSWSR Local Stewardship Council (LSC) together with the local community (Ensenada town), regional and international environmental organizations, and government agencies. We also conducted participatory meetings with different stakeholders between 2014 and 2017. The SES framework provides the analytical perspective to have a better understanding of the multiple interactions among elements of the social and ecological systems to influence the opportunities for conservation strategies. DPSIR allows us to identify specific anthropogenic pressures threatening surf breaks within BTSWSR, their impact on the environment, and actual or possible responses to human activities, facilitating the development of an adaptive co-management plan. By combining these frameworks, we were able to describe the interactions between human and natural systems in BTSWSR, and we provide initial directions to improve the understanding of the anthropogenic activities affecting surf breaks, and targeted responses to address environmental impacts to the system. The surf break conservation and management framework presented in this paper is based on a transdisciplinary approach that emphases the need to address socio-environmental issues through openness to new forms of scientific and place-based knowledge.