Systematic conservation planning within a Fijian customary governance context

Wendt, Hans K., Weeks, Rebecca, Comley, James, and Aalbersberg, William (2016) Systematic conservation planning within a Fijian customary governance context. Pacific Conservation Biology, 22 (2). pp. 173-181.

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Although conservation planning research has influenced conservation actions globally in the last two decades, successful implementation of systematic conservation plans in regions where customary marine tenure exists has been minimal. In such regions, local community knowledge and understanding of socioeconomic realities may offer the best spatially explicit information for analysis, since required socioeconomic data are not available at scales relevant to conservation planning. Here we describe the process undertaken by the Kadavu Yaubula Management Support Team, a team of researchers from The University of the South Pacific and the local communities to assess whether systematic conservation planning tools can be effectively applied and useful in a customary governance context, using a case study from Fiji. Through a participatory approach and with the aim of meeting local-scale conservation and fisheries needs, a spatial conservation planning tool, Marxan with Zones, was used to reconfigure a collection of locally designed marine protected areas in the province of Kadavu in order to achieve broader objectives. At the local scale, the real value of such tools has been in the process of identifying and conceptualising management issues, working with communities to collate data through participatory techniques, and in engaging communities in management decision making. The output and use of the tool has been of secondary value. The outcome was invaluable for developing marine protected area network design approaches that combine traditional knowledge with ecological features in a manner appropriate to a Melanesian context.

Item ID: 48477
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1038-2097
Funders: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), David and Lucile Packard Foundation, University of the South Pacific
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 00:04
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 90%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950306 Conserving Pacific Peoples Heritage @ 10%
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