This paper evaluates the feasibility of establishing a Multiple Use Marine Protected Area. The methodology was applied to evaluate three proposed sites in Chile with diverse conservation needs, social stress and poverty levels, and different economic activities (small-scale fishing, heavy industry and mining activities). We use two broad categories for the evaluation: Socio-economic and political-institutional. The methodology uses a combination of secondary data with personal interviews, workshops and focus groups with stakeholders (e.g., fishermen, unions, politicians, social organizations, etc.) from different political, social and economic backgrounds to characterize current and potential natural and social resources and to evaluate in an ordinal scale the feasibility of establishing the protected area. The methodology allows us to correctly identify the challenges faced in each site and can be used to develop appropriate strategies for balancing economic, social and environmental objectives. This methodology can be replicated to evaluate the feasibility of other marine or terrestrial protected areas.
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