Fishing communities living on the islands of Indonesia's Karimunjawa National Park have found an important balance, improving their social well-being while reducing their reliance on marine biodiversity, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Western Australia.
Over the past 5 years, the Government of Indonesia has turned Karimunjawa National Parka marine paradise of turquoise seas and mangrove-ringed islands in the Java Sea just south of Borneointo a model of co-management for the country, largely by increasing community participation in park governance and providing economic incentives such as the development of ecotourism and business enterprises to reduce fishing pressures.
The study now appears in the online version of Marine Policy. The authors include: Stuart J. Campbell, Tasrif Kartawijaya, Irfan Yulianto, and Rian Prasetia of the Wildlife Conservation Society; and Julian Clifton of the University of Western Australia.
"Community involvement in the management of fisheries in Karimunjawa has had a significant impact on improving the sustainability of these resources," said Dr. Stuart Campbell, lead author on the paper. "One outcome has been the stabilization of reef fish biomass in some areas since the zoning regulations have taken effect. Another important outcome has been the improved socioeconomics and political power of participant communities, the key to any successful endeavor in sustainable development."
Karimunjawa National Park covers some 1,100 square kilometers of sea surrounding a total of 27 islands with a resident population of 9,000 people. The protected area was among the first in Indonesia to be recognized as critical for the conservation of the region's marine biodiversity. The coastal reef systems provide numerous fish species with spawning aggregation sites, important for the long-term conservation of commercially valuable species. The islands contained
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Wildlife Conservation Society