According to a new study, fishing communities on the islands of Indonesia’s Karimunjawa National Park have found a way to improve their social well-being while lessening their reliance on marine resources. The Park, located in the Java Sea south of Borneo and home to 27 islands, is now a model of co-management for the whole country.
In 2006, a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) study found that the resources in Karimunjawa were threatened by overfishing. Since then, the Karimunjawa National Park Authority has increased community participation in park management and provided financial incentives to help promote awareness of and compliance with fishing and other park regulations.
“Community involvement in the management of fisheries in Karimunjawa has had a significant impact on improving the sustainability of these resources,” said Dr. Stuart Campbell of the WCS, lead author on the paper. “One outcome has been the stabilization of reef fish biomass in some areas since the zoning regulations have taken effect. Another important outcome has been the improved socioeconomics and political power of participant communities, the key to any successful endeavor in sustainable development.”
Not only are better regulations benefiting the marine ecosystem, but the financial incentives have decreased the locals’ dependence on marine resources.
“This co-management model is ideal for both marine conservation and local empowerment,” said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of WCS’s Marine Program. “The current plan’s economic, legal, and participatory incentives have created a self-perpetuating system of exclusive access rights for local communities, who in turn support and enforce the protected area’s policies and regulations.”
To learn more:
- Read the whole article from WCS: Indonesian Fishing Communities Find Balance Between Biodiversity & Development
- Find the study, published in the journal Marine Policy, here: Co-management approaches and incentives improve management effectiveness in the Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.