Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/25485
The Fiji Locally-Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA) is internationally known for its expertise in the community-based management of coastal resources. Based on 26 semi-structured interviews with FLMMA members and associates, this study examines the strengths and weaknesses of FLMMA in empowering the coastal communities in managing their marine resources efficiently, from 2001 to 2015, and identifies future pathways to contribute to the successful management of nearshore fisheries in Fiji.
The study finds that (1) by linking Western science with Fijian traditional knowledge and involving relevant partner institutions, coastal communities have demonstrated their exceptional ability to manage their fishing grounds. In cooperation with FLMMA, communities take the responsibility to plan, implement, monitor and adapt resource management plans. FLMMA’s best practices on participatory co-management are valuable for other regions globally. (2) However, after 15 years of existence, FLMMA is faced with donor institutions changing their priorities, which impacts commitment from partner organizations within the Network, bringing to light shortcomings in FLMMA’s organizational and strategic setup. (3) The study concludes that FLMMA should address its internal challenges by undergoing a process of organizational strengthening. While keeping the community at heart, it could become a substantial partner for the Fijian Government. By transforming commitments on international and regional conservation treaties into tangible initiatives, FLMMA could contribute meaningfully, fighting overexploitation of coastal resources in Fiji, and supporting climate change adaptation.
This study describes how a community-based scheme evolves into a partnership between the local, provincial and national levels in co-managing coastal resources in Fiji.
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