Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Local Social Dynamics Key to Success of Tropical Marine Conservation Areas

23.02.2010
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.

Christie and his students’ work in the Philippines during the last six years has been facilitated by the Filipino NGO Coastal Conservation Education Foundation and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

For more information:
Christie, patrickc@u.washington.edu; Feb. 18 to 20 phone 619-234-1500 (room 916); after AAAS, office phone 206-685-6661
Related journal article: Coastal Management, April 2009
“Tropical Marine EBM Feasibility: A Synthesis of Case Studies and Comparative Analyses”

http://www.oneocean.org/download/db_files/Christieetal.synthesis.CMJ%2009.pdf

Related journal article: Coastal Management, May 2009
“Back to Basics: An Empirical Study Demonstrating the Importance of Local-Level Dynamics for the Success of Tropical Marine Ecosystem-Based Management”

http://pdfserve.informaworld.com/585899_731228499_910540296.pdf

Sandra Hines | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Method uses DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

More genes are active in high-performance maize

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>