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 Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>