Dataset: Mainstreaming resource conservation: the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network and its influence on National Policy Development: WORKING PAPER


This record describes, and links to a working paper produced through the Resource Management in Asia-Pacific (RMAP) Program based at The Australian National University in Canberra.

The experience of the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas (FLMMA) network provides an illustration of how to mainstream community-based resource management practices that began with local communities, and were in-turn supported by a Government which has witnessed the success of community-based intervention. To improve the success of conservation in the communities and attract attention to its approach, FLMMA formed a learning portfolio. This is a network of projects that use a common strategy to achieve a common end and agree to work together to collect, test and communicate information about the conditions under which the strategy works, to enable the partners to exchange ideas and experiences. The learning portfolio enhances collaboration and also ensures that lessons learnt are shared widely with people in the network. FLMMA is working to increase the effectiveness of conservation and to ensure that the involvement of people in the management of their marine resources is both satisfying and meaningful.

Modern science is an important part of the FLMMA approach because it is used to demonstrate the effects of the use of traditional resource management practices. Using simple biological, social, and economic monitoring methods, the villagers are collecting impressive results on resources and habitat recovery and the associated social and economic improvements in living conditions. The objectives of improving conservation to protect biodiversity and improve people's living conditions are important features of the kind of community-based resource conservation that is now being undertaken in the Pacific and Asia region. The objectives are also consistent with national policies for inshore fisheries development and global concerns about poverty alleviation.

The success of community-based conservation in different parts of Fiji has resulted in long-term support from the communities. It has also facilitated the articulation of Government fisheries development policies. The Government has set up a new conservation unit and has formalised its support, and adopted the FLMMA method of involving local community units in the sustainable use of their marine resources. Under FLMMA, the success and combined experiences of conservation practitioners are being used to mainstream resource conservation and influence policy development in Fiji.

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