November 13, 2018

IUCN Report Showcases Replicable Building Blocks for Community Marine Conservation

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

October 2018: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ‘Blue Solutions’ project has published a PANORAMA report on community-led successes in marine conservation. The report features 20 case studies on community marine conservation, each of which describe key impacts and present replicable building blocks.

The publication titled, ‘Solutions in Focus: Community-led Successes in Marine Conservation,’ provides an overview of the importance of governance diversity and other effective area-based conservation measures and features. Case studies address a range of topics, including participatory management, community-based tourism, biodiversity restoration, gender dimensions of marine conservation and the role of marine conservation in climate adaptation. A case study on integration of community health services with local marine management efforts describes the intersections between population, health and environment (PHE) in Madagascar.

On conservation at scale, a case study from Conservation International describes how the Bird’s Head Seascape (BHS) addresses habitat destruction from resource exploitation and overfishing in West Papua, Indonesia, through a large-scale ecologically-connected and community-driven marine protected area (MPA) network that aims to regenerate local fisheries and preserve biodiversity. MPA patrol teams reduced destructive fishing practices to less than one percent of fishers in Raja Ampat MPAs and reduced illegal fishing from outsiders by over 90 percent, among other impacts. Since MPA establishment, the average increase in live coral cover is 12 percent across the MPAs, and livelihood opportunities have grown through the tourism sector. The case study identifies the following building blocks: ecosystem-based management science programme; social and political support and partnership; development of an ecologically connected, co-managed MPA network; adequate capacity and co-management institutions; private sector engagement; and sustainable financing strategy.

The ‘Solutions in Focus’ series represents a snapshot of the PANORAMA portfolio rather than a representative sample of best practices on the topic.

Several case studies focus on local fisheries management or sustainable fisheries management. In Fiji, for instance, the case study describes the establishment of a voluntary dive fee system in the Namena Marine Reserve, the country’s largest no-take locally managed marine area (LMMA), that has generated funds to cover management costs as well as create a scholarship programme for local students. The case study identifies the following building blocks: a participatory planning process; research and data collection; development of a management plan; establishment of institutional capacity; and sustainable financing for management. In Viet Nam, an LMMA promoted awareness and knowledge among the community on conservation regulations, although recovery of fish populations increased fisheries violations by local people and outsiders. Building blocks discussed include a participatory needs assessment, participative management, ecological restoration and fine-tuning site management.

IUCN produced the publication as part of the PANORAMA-Solutions for a Healthy Planet partnership, which aims to facilitate learning from success in conservation and “promote examples of inspiring solutions that showcase how nature conservation can benefit society.” The ‘Solutions in Focus’ series explores common elements and shared learning across success stories, and represents a snapshot of the PANORAMA portfolio rather than a representative sample of best practices on the topic. ICUN co-leads PANORAMA with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment), the Norwegian foundation GRID-Arendal, Rare, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and other organizations.