Exploring social resilience in Madagascar’s marine protected areas

Cinner, Joshua, Fuentes, Mariana M.P.B., and Randriamahazo, Herilala (2009) Exploring social resilience in Madagascar’s marine protected areas. Ecology and Society, 14 (1). .

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Abstract

We examined and compared aspects of local-level resilience in 13 coastal communities within and adjacent to all of Madagascar’s national marine protected areas. Our examination of social resilience focused on indicators of the flexibility of household livelihood portfolios and both formal and informal governance institutions, the capacity of communities to organize, their capacity to learn, and access to household assets and community infrastructure. In general, we found high levels of flexibility in formal institutions and livelihood portfolios and high levels of participation in decision-making and community groups. Together, these indicators suggest some latent capacity to adaptively manage resources, but this capacity may be offset by poor levels of trust between communities and resource managers, a poor understanding of the ways in which humans affect marine resources, inadequate feedback of ecological monitoring to communities, inflexibility in informal governance institutions, and a lack of assets to draw upon. We suggest that building desirable resilience in Madagascar’s marine protected areas will require the following: investments in community-level infrastructure, projects to generate household income, and enhanced agricultural production to improve the well-being of communities; improvements in the capacity to learn through investments in formal and informal education; enhanced trust between park staff and local communities; empowerment of communities to govern and enforce natural resources; the increased accountability of leaders and transparency of governance processes; adequate cross-scale interaction with local, provincial, and national institutions; and the pursuit of these activities in ways that capitalize on community-specific strengths, such as high flexibility and the presence of sociocultural institutions such as taboos that regulate resource use.

Item ID: 8089
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: resilience; coral reefs; socioeconomic aspects; marine protected areas; Madagascar
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ISSN: 1708-3087
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2010 05:31
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 21
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