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Exploring patterns and trends in the establishment of locally managed marine areas in the Pacific

Authors: Arundhati Jagadish*, Conservation International, Morena Mills, Center for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, Michael B Mascia, Moore Center for Science, Conservation International , Alifereti Tawake, Council Chair, LMMA International Network, Hugh Govan, University of South Pacific, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Director, Fiji Country Program, WCS, Tanya O'Garra, Middlesex University UK, Margaret Tabunakawai-Vakalalabure, Coordinator, Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network
Topics: Environmental Science, Coastal and Marine, Pacific Islands
Keywords: Diffusion of innovation, conservation, resource-management, Pacific
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Despite billions of dollars invested in marine resource management projects and programs internationally, ‘getting to scale’ remains a major challenge. Effective community-level projects often fail to reach scales needed to achieve community or government expectations. Occasionally, however, a management practice will ‘go viral’; with rapid, widespread adoption, transforming the relationship between people and nature across large areas, and resulting in large positive outcomes for people and nature. In the Pacific, for example, the past 15 years have witnessed explosive growth of Locally Managed Marine Areas. A locally-managed marine area (LMMA) is an area of nearshore waters that is actively being managed in a ‘local’ practitioner context by residing or neighboring communities and/or families or being collaboratively managed by both resident communities and local government representatives based in the immediate vicinity of the LMMA ( Over 500 communities in 15 countries or territories currently manage more than 12,000 sq km of inshore waters (Govan et al, 2009); now spreading rapidly through the Western Indian Ocean. Applying Diffusion of Innovations theory to LMMAs in Fiji as a model system, we propose to identify the factors that shape spatial patterns and temporal trends in the adoption, implementation, and abandonment of community-based resource management initiatives.

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