Incentivizing co-management for impact: mechanisms driving the successful national expansion of Tonga's Special Management Area program

Smallhorn-West, Patrick F., Sheehan, Jason, Malimali, Siola'a, Halafihi, Tuikolongahau, Bridge, Tom C.L., Pressey, Robert L., and Jones, Geoffrey P. (2020) Incentivizing co-management for impact: mechanisms driving the successful national expansion of Tonga's Special Management Area program. Conservation Letters, 13 (6). e12742.

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The expansion of coastal marine protected areas can suffer from two key drawbacks: (a) the difficulty of incentivizing local communities to manage areas for conservation when their livelihoods also depend on resource use; and (b) that many protected areas get situated residually, or in locations with limited value for either biodiversity conservation or livelihoods. Here, we discuss and analyze key characteristics of Tonga's Special Management Area (SMA) program, including both the mechanisms that have motivated its successful national expansion and its ability to configure no-take reserves in areas that are considered to have high value to resource users. Granting communities exclusive access zones in exchange for implementing no-take reserves has encouraged conservation actions while fostering long-term relationships with resources. Ensuring no-take reserves occurred within the boundaries of exclusive access zones enabled communities to protect areas of greater extractive values than they would have otherwise. We conclude that the success of this program offers a way forward for achieving targets in the global expansion marine protected areas.

Item ID: 63770
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: community-based management, conservation, marine protected areas, residual conservation, South Pacific, TURF
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2020 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CE)
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 07:40
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190205 Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives) @ 100%
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