Marine protected areas and management approaches

Cohort: 2017, 2018

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4



Marine Conservation
Polytechnic university of Marche


This course deals with the description of marine protected areas, considering their life cycle (preliminary phase, pioneer phase, practical phase), the MPA planning, management, research and monitoring. Moreover, participatory approaches for stakeholders engagement will be discussed.


MPAs life cycle (preliminary phase, pioneer phase, practical phase); the MPA planning; MPAs management; MPAs research and monitoring; national, regional and international policy on MPAs; MPAs, reserve effect; Artisanal and recreational fishing activities in MPAS; ecotourism activities associated to the MPAs to promote sustainable livelihoods; MPA revenue, raising awareness and building compliance; Stakeholders engagement; the opportunity of citizen science to support shared management plans; Protected habitat and marine species in MPAs; large MPAs and the challenge of the open sea (Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction).


Graduate level in sciences.There isn’t any other specific pre-requisite but basic knowledge in marine biology and ecology and a diving certification are recommended.


A combination of classroom lectures, interactive exercises and field trips will offer to the students the basic theoretical and practical knowledge on Marine Protected Area development and management. They learn the main aims and opportunities represented by MPAs in marine conservation. At least a couple of MPAs will be visited to meet the day-by-day problems managers have to face. Topics are national, regional and international policy on MPAs, ecotourism activities associated to the MPAs to promote sustainable livelihoods and MPA revenue, raising awareness and building compliance with MPA.


The course will provide the students with the necessary information to work in environmental management and in biodiversity conservation in the frame of MPAs. At the end of the course the students know the pathways to follow for the development of a MPA and the main activities required for their management and monitoring.
The students have to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired during specific case studies, evaluating processes, phenomena, and environmental episodes, related to conservation and management of both coastal and off-shore marine environment.

Key skills acquired

During the theoretical classes specific case studies will be discussed, stimulating their understanding abilities and emphasising the high interdisciplinary required to develop conservation projects.
The peculiarity of the practical activities requires developing good skills of interaction and coordination within a workgroup.


Notes taken during the lecturers and powerpoint presentations handed out by the lecturers. State of the art articles, reports, books.


The evaluation of the preparation of the student will be made by a final oral exam. Questions will be addressed to the main conservation theories, to biodiversity conservation, to national and international laws on biodiversity conservation. The problem solving skills will be tested by the analysis of case studies.
The level of knowledge acquired, exposed during the oral test, referring to lectures and to the practical parts, will be evaluated to assess the students’ preparation.
The final mark is given considering the levels of knowledge acquired and shown during the oral test, and it is conferred considering the theoretical and practical parts.

Involved teachers

Carlo Cerrano Antonio Dell’Anno Roberto Danovaro

Contact hours