|Designation of marine protected areas in Belgium: a legal and ecological success?|In: Marine Policy. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISSN 0308-597X, more
Public participation; ANE, Belgium [gazetteer]; Marine
Marine protected areas; Marine biodiversity; Legitimacy; Institutionalisation process; Public participation
In Belgium a long process (1999-2005) led to the designation of several marine protected areas (MPAs). In order to analyse the designation process, the 'policy arrangement approach' was used as an analytical tool. Attention was given to four dimensions (actors and coalitions, arguments, rules and resources). Particular attention was paid to the switch from an authoritative to a more deliberated policy style in reaction to conflicts with stalteholders. This switch in policy style contributed to a successful legal designation, but does not guarantee the best protection of marine biodiversity. This case study linked science (setting ecological goals) to policy (analysis of a policy process) and led to some more general conclusions on the designation of MPAs and the role of participation in this process.