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In Fiji, marine protection gets local boost
Date:8/22/2012

NEW YORK (August 20, 2012)A new study by researchers from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, and the Wildlife Conservation Society has found that locally managed marine protected areas within Fiji are playing an increasingly important role in the nation's strategy to protect inshore habitats.

The study estimates that by 2020, locally managed marine protected areas within the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) network will effectively protect between 12-18 percent of all coastal and inshore marine habitats in Fiji. The authors conclude that through local, grassroots management alone, Fiji is on target to achieve approximately half of the national government goal to protect at least 30 percent of Fiji's inshore habitats.

The study appears online in the early view of the journal Conservation Letters. Authors include: Morena Mills of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland; Vanessa Adams, Robert Pressey, and Natalie Ban of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University; and Stacy Jupiter of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

This 'people power' approach will have substantially delivered on the Aichi Biodiversity Target an international commitment by signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity to effectively conserve 10 percent of the world's coastal and marine areas by 2020.

This locally focused approach to marine resource management is not limited to Fiji or the broader LMMA network, which also operates in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Palau, Pohnpei, the Philippines and Vanuatu. For example, in the Philippines, over 1,500 additional local marine protected areas have been established outside of the LMMA network. However, both Fiji and the LMMA network play a le
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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