Academic journal article UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy

White Paper: Using a Business Plan Format for Drafting MPA Management Plans in the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

Academic journal article UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy

White Paper: Using a Business Plan Format for Drafting MPA Management Plans in the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

Article excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  I. Introduction
     A. Scope of Paper
     B. Summary/Structure of Paper
 II. The MPA Management Plan
     A. Introduction
     B. Constituents
     C. Strategies
     D. Operations
     E. Financials and Sensitivity Analysis
     F. Milestones
III. Conclusion

I.

INTRODUCTION

A. Scope of paper

This paper looks at what would need to be included for the purpose of assessing the financial, human and physical resources required to establish and manage Marine Protected Areas ("MPAs") designated under the MLPA Initiative process as part of an MPA Management Plan. (1) While the Marine Life Protection Act requires "[s]pecific identified objectives, and management and enforcement measures, for all MPAs in the system", no clear guidance is provided as to what constitutes sufficient planning to assure the proper management of the MPAs. (2) As such, this paper seeks to organize a framework approach or logic for how managers can address implementing and improving activities for both individual MPAs.

In preparation for this effort, approaches of several other agencies responsible for area management plans were reviewed for input of practices appropriate for MPA management plans; while no one approach fits the specific needs of the MLPA Initiative, parts of these other approaches are incorporated where useful. (3) Instead this paper takes an approach similar to that used in business plans that guide development of entrepreneurial organizations. Business plans enjoy several advantages over other types of planning processes reviewed. Rather than being created merely to satisfy statutory requirements narrowly conscribed to its specific regulatory context, a business plan is a "living document" guiding daily activities that can be modified to adapt to new learning throughout its implementation. (4) Applied to MPAs, this flexibility allows adaptation to a particular area's own unique circumstances and local context. Business plans also have the benefit of being tested in countless applications and refined over time. General practices have evolved through practice and less relevant components have been discarded. The essence of the business plan format is in its pragmatism. Business plans are designed to be used, focusing on process rather than the production of a document.

Business plans typically have multiple objectives. (5) First, they are themselves a process for thinking through the operation's processes in order to anticipate potential conflicts or contingencies that may arise in the course of business. They are planning documents. (6) Second, business plans provide a record of what managers' expectations are so that performance can be measured at a later date and improving accountability of management. (7) Third, business plans lend transparency to the operation by conveying key information to funding sources to justify investing in the venture. (8) While this last purpose most often comes to peoples' minds when asked why business plans are created, in practice, the first two purposes are more prevalent and foundational to the outcome of the venture.

A business plan follows a general logic to justify its financial conclusions to investors in order to show the "bottom line" for funding requirements. (9) After a brief introductory executive summary, such plans first start with a description of the company and what the company proposes to do. (10) The plans then analyze how the company proposes to market its product or service, and the measures it puts forward to do so. (11) Finally, such plans discuss specific steps to accomplish these measures, and from those steps estimate the affiliated costs. (12) Such plans should be referred to in order to assess whether milestones have been met, and to provide a baseline for adapting to unforeseen circumstances. (13) This paper will apply this business plan framework approach to the development of MPA Management Plans. …

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