Profile: Veronica Relano

Socio_Ecological Management in the San Antonio MPA, Argentina

Veronica Relano is a PhD researcher at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the research group of the Sea Around Us, under the supervision of Dr Daniel Pauly. Her time at different universities and institutes all over the world, including the Universidad de Cadiz, University of Kingston, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, the Technical University of Munich and the University of British Columbia allowed her to learn and collaborate with multidisciplinary scientists. Living and working in more than 10 countries, made her aware of the many different socio-cultural facets, ways to work with local stakeholders and ecological effects that underpin management of marine resources.

In her research she aims to combine marine biodiversity and social data to overcome the gap in the conservation decision-making framework, considering ecological, economic, and legal aspects, collectively. She is especially interested in MPA management and the extent of protection that MPAs offer to marine and coastal ecosystems. She is also interested in conservation psychology, nudging and in better understanding how to communicate conservation actions to a broader audience to achieve change on the ground. In this regard, her project ¡°Socio-ecological management in the San Antonio Bay MPA (Argentina)¡± will bring a previously overlooked community¡¯s perspective to the table and raise awareness about the ecological, social and economic value they place on this area of the North of Patagonia: The Marine Protected Area of San Antonio Bay.

Her research will help improve the ecological baseline knowledge of this area and assess its management tools for biodiversity conservation. This assessment will be carried out through a questionnaire with the different actors closely related to the MPA. From this questionnaire, a documentary will be produced, featuring the coastal community¡¯s relationship with the MPA and its ecological and cultural importance. Thanks to the Robin Rigby Trust, this documentary and its research will be possible. It will raise awareness amongst members of the coastal community, managers, policymakers and other stakeholders about daily challenges that stem from unsustainable marine practices and call for cooperative and integrated coastal management. The film will eventually be donated to the two organizations that Veronica will collaborate with: The Azara Foundation and Inalafquen.

Final Report