Corals calypso and contraband: a case study on the management and enforcement of marine protected areas within San Andres, Old Providence and Santa Catalina’s archipelago, Colombia

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Lloyd, D, Martinez, GDV & Boyd, WE 2012, 'Corals, Calypso and Contraband: a case study on the management and enforcement of marine protected areas within San Andres', in Proceedings, 7th International Conference on Small Island Cultures Old Providence and Santa Catalina’s Archipelago, Colombia, Airlie Beach, Qld., 12-16 June, pp. 50-56.

Published version available from:



A global proliferation of marine protected areas (MPAs) includes a push to create MPAs in developing countries. They are often only token designations, created at the behest of international donors to comply with international conventions promoted by the developed world. They are often also in areas of growing populations and economic pressure. There is a growing recognition that many developing nations do not have the appropriate infrastructure and legislative instruments to manage MPAs; their management does not reflect local communities aspirations or in-country institutions coordination or compliance capabilities. This is especially so where first world management models – such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park model (GBRMP) – are adopted as the primary planning tool. This paper examines a Colombian MPA example – the southwest Caribbean San Andres archipelago – to critique such adoption. While declared as biosphere reserve, management has to deal with increasing population, lack of management coordination, and illegal drug and gun running enforcement. This critique questions the validity of a first world management approach in this context.