Challenges of governance often constitute critical obstacles to efforts to equitably improve livelihoods in social-ecological systems. Yet, just as often, these challenges go unspoken, or are viewed as fixed parts of the context, beyond the scope of influence of agricultural, development, or natural resource management initiatives. What does it take to get governance obstacles and opportunities out in the open, creating the space for constructive dialogue and collective action that can help to address them? We respond to this question by comparing experiences of participatory action research (PAR) in coastal and floodplain systems in four countries (Zambia, Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, and Cambodia) with a focus on understanding how to build more equitable governance arrangements. We found that governance improvement was often an implicit or secondary objective of initiatives that initially sought to address more technical natural resource or livelihood-related development challenges. We argue that using PAR principles of ownership, equity, shared analysis, and feedback built trust and helped to identify and act upon opportunities to address more difficult-to-shift dimensions of governance particularly in terms of stakeholder representation, distribution of authority, and accountability. Our findings suggest that the engaged and embedded approach of researcher-facilitators can help move from identifying opportunities for governance change to supporting stakeholders as they build more equitable governance arrangements.
Community-based and Participatory Management
This article presents data from a citizens jury-inspired deliberative workshop held to tease out stakeholder views of management priorities for a section of the North Sea: the Dogger Bank. As this article reveals, the lessons learned from the Dogger Bank workshop advocate not simply what is required for managing one particular ocean commons, but also highlight some of the public participation research design failings, taking public participation in resource management further by adding to the literature and theoretical discussions on the public sphere. Analysis of the citizens jury-inspired deliberative workshop also highlights the critical issue of power inherent, yet often unacknowledged, in public participation in environmental management. Stakeholder opinions uncovered through workshop discussions also show how commons are viewed today – as an economic resource-- highlighting the trend of the mainstreaming of the commodification of the commons.
This study aims to evaluate FAD use patterns, co-management arrangements and livelihoods of pelagic fisheries with particular emphasis on changes that have occurred in recent years, during the CARIFICO project. It also aims to assess the factors influencing the decision of fisheries to set and maintain public and private FADs.
There is a growing interest in working with customary management (CM) systems to effectively manage benthic resources and small-scale fisheries. The underlying notion is that CM institution as territorial use rights in fisheries (TURFs) can be sufficiently adaptive and dynamic to create the local incentives that are necessary for promoting sustainable fishing practices and marine conservation more generally in a given region. This paper reviews the social opportunities and challenges of working with CM systems as a form of TURF, particularly in Oceania. A key conclusion is that policy makers and managers not only need to recognize natural interconnectivity in any one marine space, but also consider the social interconnectivity of stakeholders that covers customary TURFs. Only by recognizing and working with the existing social networks that overlay any given marine territory can the operational principles of CM (as reviewed in this paper) be effectively deployed for achieving some kind of bioeconomic efficiency and creating an equitable rights-based fisheries management system.
The global decline of marine ecosystems may be partially ascribed to poor governance and to the lack of sustainable use and marine biodiversity conservation policy. Conservation success is strongly related to how people perceive marine biodiversity and those perceptions can change as a result of the accumulation of knowledge, the quality of the environment, and the appropriate and sustainable management of these areas. Engaging the targeted community in the process of promoting and planning safeguarding activities may also contribute to the acceptability and the dissemination of a shared culture of sustainability and a positive change in behavior.
This study investigates people's knowledge, perceptions and feelings toward the protection and improvement of marine biodiversity of coralligenous areas in the North Adriatic Sea in Italy. Several focus groups were conducted in the major towns of the targeted area (N = 107) to explore people's familiarity with marine biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to reveal their opinions and behaviours for certain protection strategies, such as the marine protected area (MPA).
We found that coralligenous habitats are not very well known among the general people; in fact, only 42% of respondents had previously heard about biodiversity in these habitats. However, participants agreed that they provide important environmental services that benefit human wellbeing. Moreover, we found that 80% of respondents had heard before of MPA, and the majority of them were in favor of supporting interventions and policies to protect these areas.
Remote sensing has been widely used for mapping land cover and is considered key to monitoring changes in forest areas in the REDD+ Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system. But Remote Sensing as a desk study cannot capture the whole picture; it also requires ground checking. Therefore, complementing remote sensing analysis using participatory mapping can help provide information for an initial forest cover assessment, gain better understanding of how local land use might affect changes, and provide a way to engage local communities in REDD+. Our study looked at the potential of participatory mapping in providing complementary information for remotely sensed maps. The research sites were located in different ecological and socio-economic contexts in the provinces of Papua, West Kalimantan and Central Java, Indonesia. Twenty-one maps of land cover and land use were drawn with local community participation during focus group discussions in seven villages. These maps, covering a total of 270,000ha, were used to add information to maps developed using remote sensing, adding 39 land covers to the eight from our initial desk assessment. They also provided additional information on drivers of land use and land cover change, resource areas, territory claims and land status, which we were able to correlate to understand changes in forest cover. Incorporating participatory mapping in the REDD+ MRV protocol would help with initial remotely sensed land classifications, stratify an area for ground checks and measurement plots, and add other valuable social data not visible at the RS scale. Ultimately, it would provide a forum for local communities to discuss REDD+ activities and develop a better understanding of REDD+.
This study explores the factors that influence the community's participation in managing community-based ecotourism (CBETM) for sustainable development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Peninsular Malaysia. CBETM ensures community involvement for effective sustainable management as well as supporting environmental conservation practices. To achieve the objectives of the study, a quantitative method was applied, and data were analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The major findings of this study indicate that environmental knowledge for sustainable development, motivation to be involved with CBETM, perceived economic impact of CBETM, perceived social impact of CBETM and perceived cultural impact of CBETM have a greater influence on intention to participate in CBETM. It implies that these factors lead to the formation of positive intention in managing CBETM and promote community participation. This study will help policymakers to take relevant management policies to increase environmental knowledge for sustainable development, to motivate local community in CBETM, and to increase economic, social and cultural benefits among residents. These benefits encourage community involvement in CBETM that will support environmental planning to ensure environmental conservation practices among tourists and residents.
Promoting and attaining sustainable use of resources through community participation is a central tenet of the European Union's (EU) 2013 Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. A systematic review approach was used to identify participatory fisheries management arrangements within the EU. Following this, the participatory arrangements were categorized based on the nature of the decision-making arrangement, influence and empowerment of the fishing industry. The study identified 40 management arrangements distributed through 8 member states, with a variety of fisheries and institutional settings for participation in fisheries management in the EU. The majority of the partnerships identified are “Functional participation”, i.e., the participatory arrangement is based in pre-determined goals encouraged by higher decision-making levels in order to increase efficiency of management decisions. Interactive partnership was the highest level of participation identified in the systematic review, and is usually more conducive with local arrangements in coastal and small-scale fisheries targeting low mobility species.
This study investigated the effects of a community-led temperate marine reserve in Lamlash Bay, Firth of Clyde, Scotland, on commercially important populations of European lobster (Homarus gammarus), brown crab (Cancer pagurus), and velvet swimming crabs (Necora puber). Potting surveys conducted over 4 years revealed significantly higher catch per unit effort (cpue 109% greater), weight per unit effort (wpue 189% greater), and carapace length (10–15 mm greater) in lobsters within the reserve compared with control sites. However, likely due to low levels of recruitment and increased fishing effort outside the reserve, lobster catches decreased in all areas during the final 2 years. Nevertheless, catch rates remained higher within the reserve across all years, suggesting the reserve buffered these wider declines. Additionally, lobster cpue and wpue declined with increasing distance from the boundaries of the marine reserve, a trend which tag–recapture data suggested were due to spillover. Catches of berried lobster were also twice as high within the reserve than outside, and the mean potential reproductive output per female was 22.1% greater. It was originally thought that higher densities of lobster within the reserve might lead to greater levels of aggression and physical damage. However, damage levels were solely related to body size, as large lobsters >110 mm had sustained over 218% more damage than smaller individuals. Interestingly, catches of adult lobsters were inversely correlated with those of juvenile lobsters, brown crabs, and velvet crabs, which may be evidence of competitive displacement and/or predation. Our findings provide evidence that temperate marine reserves can deliver fisheries and conservation benefits, and highlight the importance of investigating multispecies interactions, as the recovery of some species can have knock-on effects on others.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have historically been implemented and managed in a top-down way, excluding resource-dependent users from planning and management. In response to conflict and non-compliance, the governance of marine resources is increasingly embracing community-based approaches, assuming that by putting communities at the forefront of planning and management, participation will increase, causing positive social and ecological impacts. Given the relative newness of community-based MPAs, this study explores how resource users perceive their impacts on ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being (HWB). This study explores two community-based MPAs called tengefus in Kenya using mixed qualitative methods, including a participatory photography method called photovoice. Participation in and donor support for tengefus influences how resource users perceived tengefus and their impacts on ES and HWB. Individuals who were engaged in the tengefu from the inception or held official positions perceived more positive impacts on ES and HWB compared to those not as involved. Tengefus were often viewed by communities as attractors for external support and funding, positively influencing attitudes and feelings towards conservation. One site, the first tengefu in Kenya, had more external support and was surrounded by positive perceptions, while the other site had little external support and was surrounded by more conflict and mixed perceptions. This study exemplifies the complex social-political dynamics that MPAs create and are embedded within. Community-based MPA initiatives could benefit from ensuring widespread engagement throughout the inception, implementation and management, recognizing and managing expectations around donor support, and not assuming that benefits spillover throughout the community.