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Community Based Management

Achieving the Potential of Locally Managed Marine Areas in the South Pacific

Govan H. 2009. SPC Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin #25

This article is based on Govan’s 2009 paper, Status and Potential of Locally Managed Marine Areas in the South Pacific. It discusses the widespread acceptance of LMMAs throughout many of the Pacific Islands, and briefly outlines the benefits for communities. However, it highlights the limitations of LMMAs if not managed in the wider context of integrated coastal management.

Arnavon Islands Community Conservation, The Solomon Islands

Capacity Development for Protected and Other Conserved Areas in the Pacific Islands Region

Capacity Development for Protected and Other Conserved Areas in the Pacific Islands Region

This document is an important tool for promoting action. It highlights the importance of culturally‐responsive capacity development, with Pacific Islanders defining the most appropriate approaches to be used. This requires partnerships, programs, and processes that work closely with existing contexts and conditions, understand and reflect values and cultures, and help build on existing knowledge and the great strength of the region – community‐based management.  

Capacity for Conservation

Capacity for Conservation relates to organisational ability to deliver effective protected area management.  Operated by several conservation organisations, Capacity for Conservation believes that building strong conservation organisations is one of the most effective means of making a lasting contribution to conservation. It aims to support self-led organisational development to achieve conservation goals.

Celebrating island biodiversity achievements in the Pacific : case studies from the Regional GEF-PAS Integrated Island Biodiversity Project

This inspiring collection of case studies tells the story of how four Pacific island countries are managing their island biodiversity in an integrated manner through the assistance of the UNEP Global Environment Facility's Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS) project. This project has created a lasting legacy for others to scale up and replicate as we continue to work together as a region to protect and sustainably use our island biodiversity to sustain environmental, economic and human well-being of our Pacific peoples well into the future.

Community-based Biological Monitoring Training Guide (Applied at FLMMA Project Sites)

Tawake, A., Meo, S., Cakacaka, A. and Aalbersberg, W.G.L. 2004. Institute of Applied Sciences,  USP

The paper describes the process used by the Fiji Locally Managed Marine-Area (FLMMA) Network to train communities in simple biological monitoring and data presentation and to develop a biological monitoring plan for their projects. The contents of each session and tools used in this training manual have previously been tested in several other FLMMA sites and further refinement has been applied through the community biological monitoring training for five FLMMA project sites at Tagaqe village in 2003.

Community-Based Management through Special Management Areas

Community Information Pamphlet; unkown date. Department of Fisheries, Tonga

Community-Based Marine Resource Management in Solomon Islands: A Facilitator’s Guide

WorldFish. 2013.  CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Penang, Malaysia. 

This guide describes the process and activities that WorldFish staff have used and adapted as facilitators working with communities interested in marine resource management in Solomon Islands (2005-2013). It is a teaching guide for facilitators and presents a logical step-wise process that a facilitator (an individual or organization) can follow. The guide outlines the tools and activities that the authors found most useful at each step in the process.

The guide is divided into five modules: 

Conservation standards: From rights to responsibilities

Conservation standards: From rights to responsibilities

Although conservation interventions aim to protect biological and cultural diversity, they can affect communities in a number of ways. The vast body of international law, norms and standards protecting human rights offers little rights-based, practical guidance for conservation initiatives. Focusing on indigenous peoples, this paper aims to provide a set of draft conservation standards that outline:

• how indigenous peoples’ rights are enshrined in international law

• how conservation interventions can infringe these rights

“Contribution of Marine Conservation Agreements to Biodiversity Protection, Fisheries Management and Sustainable Financing in Fiji.”

The report documents the degree and scale to which Marine Conservation Agreements (MCAs) are being used in coastal waters in Fiji. The study focuses on partnerships involving local communities and the tourism sector. The study documented tourism-related MCAs included an estimated 266.25 km2 (26,625 ha) of MPAs, of which 210 km2 (21,000 ha) comprised deep water and offshore reefs within two large no-take reserves (Namena Marine Reserve and Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park), and the remaining 56.25 km2 (5,625 ha) comprised mostly shallow fringing reefs and slopes. The report highlights there are many more MPAs out there (especially informal ones), that are probably not being recognized or included in our national accounting and reporting.

Engaging Communities in Marine Protected Areas: Concepts and Strategies from Current Practice

Although marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States are typically planned and implemented through a top-down, legislative approach by federal or state government agencies, marine resource managers are increasingly incorporating more bottom-up, community engagement strategies as part of their professional “toolkits.” Managers engage local communities for a wide variety of reasons, from raising awareness about the existence or conservation goals of an MPA to recruiting volunteers and citizen scientists.

Engaging Communities

Fiji - Nakauvadra community based reforestation project - PDD (2013)

The Nakauvadra Community Based Reforestation Project in Fiji has been developed by Conservation International (CI), and funded through the support of FIJI Water. The project is located on the northern tip of Viti Levu in the Province of Ra. It is comprised of 1,135 ha of reforestation plots along the Southern and Northern slopes of the Nakauvadra Range, a 11,387 ha forest refuge that has been designated as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) and is earmarked as a priority site in Fiji’s proposed protected area network.

Fiji - Sovi Basin Protected Area

The Sovi Basin is Fiji’s largest remaining undisturbed lowland forest, providing fresh water to tens of thousands of people. The Sovi Basin is located on t​he island of Viti Levu, which is home to 590,000 people -  more than 70% of Fiji’s population. In recent years, the Sovi Basin has been under extreme threat from logging and agricultural land conversion. The loss of Fiji’s essential natural capital to logging and other pressures threatens its economy, people’s livelihoods and local culture.The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) sub-regional profile analysis for Fiji classified the Sovi Basin as the highest priority landscape conservation outcome for Fiji. 






Fisheries Management by Communities. A Manual on Promoting the Management of Subsistence Fisheries by Pacific Island Communities

King, M, Lambeth, L. 2000. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.

This manual provides guidelines and suggestions on how communities can be encouraged to take a leading role in the management of their fisheries and the marine environment. It promotes the Samoan model as a success story that could be transferred to other parts of the Pacific. It provides substantial background information on fisheries in the Pacific Islands, including marine ecology, fishing techniques, gear types and more.

From livelihoods to equity for better protected area conservation

From Locally Managed Marine Areas to Indigenous and Community Conserved Oceans

The importance of the work carried out by local communities across the globe in coastal resources and fisheries management cannot be underestimated - and communities in the Pacific islands are no exception.

Interactive impacts of by‑catch take and elite consumption of illegal wildlife

Harvesting, consumption and trade of forest meat are key causes of biodiversity loss. Successful mitigation programs are proving difcult to design, in part because anthropogenic pressures are treated as internationally uniform. Despite illegal hunting being a key conservation issue in the Pacifc Islands, there is a paucity of research. Here, we examine the dynamics of hunting of birds and determine how these contribute to biodiversity loss on the islands of Samoa. We focus on the interactive efects of hunting on two key seed dispersing bird species: the Pacifc pigeon (Ducula pacifca) and the critically endangered Manumea or tooth-billed pigeon (Didunculus strigiristris). We interviewed hunters, vendors and consumers and analyzed household consumption.

Introducing and evaluating a knowledge transfer approach to support problem solving in and around protected areas

Protected areas (PAs) can generate many benefits inside and outside their borders, and achieving objectives for diverse stakeholders raises many challenges. There are many examples of successful PA management around the globe, although a systematic and comprehensive approach to developing and sharing these solutions has been lacking. We present ‘‘solutioning’’ as a structured process of peer-learning, which can inform management strategies in and around protected areas. 

Islands of the Future: Building resilience in a changing world

Islands of the Future: Building resilience in a changing world

Twenty years down the road from the Barbados Programme of Action (1994) and ten years after the Mauritius Strategy (2004), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are in Apia, Samoa to take stock and define future priorities at the Third International Conference on SIDS, from 1 to 4 September.

Kiribati Integrated Environment Policy

Kiribati Integrated Environment Policy

The Kiribati Integrated Environment Policy (KIEP) is a key strategic policy document that marks an important milestone for the Government of Kiribati. It sets a solid policy platform for long term planning and action to respond to priority environmental issues, in particular the impacts of global climate change on our islands. It is a statement of intent and a document providing guidance and direction for government, local communities, development partners and all other stakeholders. This document is particularly relevant for 2012 the year of Rio+20 as we take stock of what we have done since the Earth Summit in 1992 and look to the future.

Large Scale Marine Protected Areas - Guidelines for design and management

IUCN-WCPA’s Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines are the world’s authoritative resource for protected area managers. Involving collaboration among specialist practitioners dedicated to supporting better implementation of ideas in the field, the Guidelines distil learning and advice drawn from across IUCN. Applied in the field, they build institutional and individual capacity to manage protected area systems effectively, equitably and sustainably, and to cope with the myriad of challenges faced in practice. The Guidelines also assist national governments, protected area agencies, non-governmental organisations, communities and private sector partners in meeting their commitments and goals, and especially the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas....

Lessons learned from five years of nature conservation and development in South Pacific Islands

This publication presents condensed “Lessons Learned” from five years implementation of a project across four countries in the South Pacific Island Region (Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Nuie) aimed at strengthening biodiversity conservation and reduction of forest and land degradation.  Developing new protected areas to contribute to the achievement of Aichi target 11 and enhancing sustainable livelihoods of local communities living in and around existing or potential protected areas was a central objective. The publication shares the experiences of working with a range of stakeholders whilst implementing this project within the South Pacific Islands' socio-economic and cultural/traditional context.

Lessons learned in community-managed marine area in Karkum, Madang, Papua New Guinea

Sea turtles are a “keystone species” or a critical component of the marine environment. A keystone species plays an important role in the ecosystem by being a key feature in the functioning of the ecosystem. If the keystone species is removed it will have an adverse effect on other parts of the ecosystem. Saving keystone species helps prevent its ecosystem processes from collapsing.

Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a keystone species. It is the most unique of the seven species of sea turtles. It does not have a shell, and It is critically endangered and on the brink of extinction in the Pacific Ocean.

This paper examines the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) at Karkum Village, Madang province, Papua New Guinea.

Locally-Managed Marine Areas: A Guide to Supporting Community-based Adaptive Management

Govan, H, Aalbersberg, W., Tawake, A. and Parks, J.E. 2008.  The Locally-Managed Marine Area Network (LMMA)

This paper is designed primarily for coastal community members, leaders and supporting partner organizations to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to establish a successful locally-managed marine area (LMMA) with community-based adaptive management (CBAM).

The four phases are thoroughly explained:

initial assessment; LMMA design and planning; implementation of CBAM; ongoing CBAM

The paper is appropriate for people who are members of the community or highly familiar with it and has already been used in countries where LMMAs are established.

Management of Village Fisheries; Samoa’s Community-Based Management Strategy

King, M., Passfield, K. and Ropeti, R.  2001. Management of Village Fisheries; Samoa’s Community-Based Management Strategy 

Samoa currently has more than 80 fish reserves managed by the community with assistance from the Fisheries Division. This detailed document outlines the process used by communities in Samoa in the preparation of fisheries management plans and establishment of fish reserves. It describes some of the activities to be carried out with the communities (e.g. problem/solution trees) and has descriptions of some of the regulations that communities can propose as fisheries management measures (e.g. limiting the number of fishers).

Manual for Community Monitoring of Sea Grass Habitat in the Western Pacific

McKenzie, L.J. & Campbell, S.J. 2002 Western Pacific Edition (QFS, NFC, Cairns).  Manual for Community Monitoring of Sea Grass Habitat in the Western Pacific

This community monitoring guide is designed to cover the region of the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia and is intended for Government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) working closely with community members to map and monitor sea grass habitats.

Marine Biological Surveys of Coral Reefs in the Northern Lau Group

The province of Lau, located in Fiji’s Eastern Division,comprises 60 islands and islets collectively known asthe Lau Group. The Lau Group has been identified as anarea of national significance and high priority for marineprotection. On 20 February 2016, Fiji was hit by Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston that caused widespread damage across the country. Cyclone Winston made first landfall through the Eastern Division, severely damagingthe islands and diverse ecosystems of Northern Lau. An 8 day marine biological baseline survey was conducted by Vatuvara Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) from 8−16 May, 2017.

Pacific Cultural Mapping Planning and Policy Toolkit

Teaiwa, K. and Mercer, C. 2011.  Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.

This document is a resource for ‘structuring the culture sector’ in Pacific Island countries and territories. It draws on approaches from a variety of international models while attending to several issues and concerns relevant to the Pacific Island region specifically.

It presents a background to understanding the Cultural Mapping, Planning and Policy Process (CMPPP) and explains why and how to go through a CMPPP. The appendices also contain some useful information e.g. developing a National Cultural Policy: Mapping, Planning and Policy Process.

Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment Training Guide

Deguit, E.T., Smith, R.P., Jatulan, W.P., White, A.T. 2004.  Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment Training Guide.  Coastal Resource Management Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Cebu City, Philippines.

This training manual was developed in the Philippines but could be adapted to suit Pacific Island communities. It is intended for 3-4 trainers to work through with communities and other stakeholders.

Principles for Community-Based Marine Conservation in the Indo-Pacific.

Parks, J, Aalbersberg, W and Salafsky, N (editors). 2001. Principles for Community-Based Marine Conservation in the Indo-Pacific. University of the South Pacific Press. Suva, Fiji.

This document contains the summary process and results from a workshop completed in 1999 by project representatives from three community-based marine biodiversity conservation projects in Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and Fiji. The goal of the workshop was to provide informed guidance for conservation practitioners in the Indo-Pacific to use in community-based marine biodiversity conservation efforts.

Ramsar Sites Management Toolkit

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has compiled a new toolkit for site managers. This toolkit was designed to provide simple guidance to site managers on the key steps and components involved in managing a Ramsar Site. It also identifies and provides links to more detailed information on each of those steps, including key non-Ramsar publications where appropriate. The toolkit was developed by the Scientific Technical Review Panel and will be continuously updated with new resources.

The toolkit is divided into four sections:

1. Describing the site

2. Planning

3. Management and monitoring

4. Periodic evaluation and review


Sustainable livelihood strategies for conservation of biodiversity in Fiji, including potential crops and value adding opportunities in three FPAM project sites.

FAO’s project “Forestry and Protected Area Management” (FPAM) assists four countries, Fiji, Niue,Samoa and Vanuatu, with the goal of strengthening biodiversity conservation and the reduction of
forest and land degradation. The project’s development objective is to enhance the sustainablelivelihoods of local communities living in and around protected areas.

The PNG-METT: A method for assessing effectiveness in Papua New Guinea’s protected areas, August 2017

In 2015–2017, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), through its Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA) and with the support of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), organised an evaluation of its protected areas, as part of the process to improve management effectiveness. PNG’s Policy on Protected Areas commits to regular evaluation of management effectiveness and to taking remedial action to improve effectiveness over time. ‘Management effectiveness of Protected Areas will be regularly evaluated on a national basis, and improvements will be put into place based on assessment results.

Traditional Knowledge for Adapting to Climate Change: Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage 

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you got started in MPAs? Insights from practitioners

In the 18 years that MPA News has been in publication, we have asked practitioners for lessons learned, and practices developed. We have published numerous tips on how to work more efficiently or effectively. But we have not asked you for the most fundamental, essential advice you have gained from your work. We do make that request this month, and we’ll continue to do so in future issues. We are asking practitioners: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you got started in the MPA field?