UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Marine Protected Areas with an Emphasis on Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples : a review Guénette, Sylvie; Ratana Chuenpagdee; Jones, Russ


This report presents a literature review of marine protected areas (MPAs) throughout the world, with an emphasis on 16 case studies that involve community participation and indigenous peoples. Details of three MPAs, namely the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, San Salvador Marine Reserve in the Philippines, and the Fagatele Bay Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa, are included to illustrate the importance of community involvement in establishing MPAs. A table summarises each MPA reviewed in terms of its establishment, purpose, level of protection, planning and management process, enforcement, community involvement, problems and results. The successful establishment of marine reserves or marine protected areas depends largely on public support and community participation in as early stage as in the planning process. Yet, in practice, many M PAs are established using a traditional 'top-down' approach. Opposition from users groups, resource use conflicts and economic concerns are common and are the most important factors which often lead to MPAs not being fully implemented. Participation of indigenous people is further limited due to barriers in the planning process such as cultural differences, and the time and format constraints. As a result, indigenous peoples' interests and concerns are not well represented in MPA design and planning.

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