Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Second Committee Member

Manoj Shivlani

Third Committee Member

Kenneth Broad

Fourth Committee Member

Fernando Bretos

Fifth Committee Member

Jorge Angulo-Valdés


This study compared the management effectiveness of two marine protected areas located in Cuba’s southern archipelagos: Punta Francés National Park (PFNP) and Jardines de la Reina National Park (JRNP). The goal of this study was to determine what factors influence management effectiveness in Cuban marine protected areas (MPAs) with a focus on PFNP and JRNP. The objectives were to identify and assess the factors related to management success, and to determine how these factors can be utilized to strengthen MPA performance across the island’s MPA network in light of increasing pressures on Cuba’s marine environment. Key informant interviews and relevant secondary sources were used to evaluate MPA performance and management. Results showed that the National Parks shared similar trends in pressures, threats, legal security, infrastructural gaps, and output successes; key differences were present in socioeconomic context, vulnerability, and management planning. However, JRNP exhibited higher management effectiveness than PFNP primarily due to ecotourism’s contributions to park management. This study illustrated the significant role public-private partnerships can play in strengthening MPA management effectiveness, and the results suggest replicating similar models in other Cuban MPAs.


Marine Protected Areas; Management and Conservation; Cuba