Navigation Links
Local social dynamics key to success of tropical marine conservation areas
Date:2/19/2010

As biologists and ecologists propose ever-larger conservation areas in the tropics, ones that encompass multiple countries, social scientists say it's local people banding together with their community leaders who ultimately determine the success or failure of such efforts in many parts of the world.

"When people sacrifice to conserve, they want to benefit from that sacrifice," says Patrick Christie, University of Washington associate professor of marine affairs and a Pew fellow in marine conservation. "People expect direct economic and social benefits from conservation."

Conflicts develop, however, when outsiders move in to take advantage of improving environmental conditions. Managing such conflicts poorly generally leads to the collapse conservation efforts, he says.

Friday during the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Diego, Christie reported on how such conflicts are being successfully handled by small, Filipino non-governmental organizations, community members and their mayors in 36 communities with marine protected areas. Marine protected areas are sites in which these communities do not fish in order to restore overfished coral reefs.

Christie organized the session "Ensuring Marine Policy is Responsive to Social Dynamics and Management Experience" with Richard Pollnac of the University of Rhode Island. The session looked at marine conservation efforts in the tropics in regions such as the six countries of the "Coral Triangle": Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island and Timor-Leste. The vast majority of ocean biodiversity is found in the tropics. Then too, most of the people who live there are highly dependent on marine resources for food, so sustaining those resources is a concern of leaders around the world from a food-security standpoint, Christie says.

Christie has conducted studies in the Philippines where residents have extensive experience with ecosystem-based management and hundreds of marine protected areas. The success of those protected areas varies widely, he says.

"What's exciting about work in the Philippines is that conservation can be successful if people don't see it as being forced on them. They need to have the sense they are in the driver's seat," he says.

Christie says social dynamics determine the success of ocean conservation. In his study in the Philippines, more than 500 people were asked such things as the number of community meetings they'd attended on conservation areas, how on a scale of one-to-five they thought their opinion mattered, if someone from their community was on the governance committee overseeing the area and if they felt their community's mayor listened to them.

Then there were measurements of biological changes once conservation areas were established to see, for example if fish numbers were up or corals were healthier. Residents also were asked if they felt catches had increased and if they felt there were more or less fish.

One important finding was that participatory planning and leadership at the mayoral level was key to dealing with the illegal fishing that troubles so many members of the communities making sacrifices in conservation areas. Unlike in the United States, there is no Coast Guard to enforce rules and no courts to turn to for relief, so collaboration between localities becomes very important.

Fostering collaboration, perhaps by helping train community leaders, and focusing on other factors concerning governance and social conditions is as important to the success of conservation areas as using the right biological and ecological parameters, Christie says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sandra Hines
shines@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. USC study finds big air pollution impacts on local communities
2. Online news garners more attention from readers if its negative and localized, MU study finds
3. Tackling childhood obesity at the local level -- IOM report releases Sept. 1
4. Regulation of cell proliferation by the OGF-OGFr axis is dependent on nuclear localization signals
5. Long-term recovery of reefs from bleaching requires local action to increase resilience
6. Carbon Disclosure Project, ICLEI partner to help US cities report local climate actions, emissions
7. Despite awareness of global warming Americans concerned more about local environment
8. Key to using local resources for biomass may include waste
9. Adapting local ecosystems can soften impact of global climate change
10. Citizen Science -- a celebration of partnership between academia and local people
11. Local sources major cause of US near-ground aerosol pollution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today ... announcing that the server component of the HYPR platform ... for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users ... including manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... focus on developing health and wellness apps that provide ... the Genome is the first hackathon for personal ... largest companies in the genomics, tech and health industries ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/23/2017)... FL (PRWEB) , ... August 23, 2017 , ... ... that the stock market news outlet had initiated coverage on NuLife Sciences. According ... shift in the organ transplant industry, focused on kidney transplant technology that integrates ...
(Date:8/23/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... Patients suffering from gum disease and failing implants ... Sawan Malik. Dr. Malik, of Broward Center for Laser Periodontics and Implants ... the future of dentistry with regenerative periodontal procedures. , "I initially ...
(Date:8/23/2017)... ... August 23, 2017 , ... The Excelera network consists of ... provides members nationally scaled infrastructure and support to help them develop best practices ... members can provide continuity of care for their patients with complex and chronic ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Brian Pogue of Dartmouth has been ... The journal is published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. ... optical technology for improved health care and biomedical research. The journal is published ...
Breaking Biology Technology: