Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Research Into Public Engagement With The 'Undersea'

I just read a summary of a study that was conducted in the U.K. on the public's perception with the 'Undersea'. The project was conducted by Natural England to try to understand the best way to engage (and not engage) the English public when it comes to the underwater landscape of the ocean.

The findings from the research suggest that most conventional campaigns that focus on 'issues' or 'problems' to promote Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are unlikely to 'work' for 60% of the population and will probably undermine attempts to create a political constituency advocating for MPAs. Even more surprising, less than 1% of the population can name a real undersea landscape feature. Essentially, there is no sense of place for the undersea landscape in England in the way there is for terrestrial landscapes, despite a high affinity for the sea as part of the coast.

While the results are for the U.K. only, the study definitely provides food for thought when it comes to our own work around MPAs here in B.C.

The full report can be viewed at: http://naturalengland.communisis.com/naturalenglandshop/docs/NERR019.pdf

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