Our new paper, Adaptive Comanagement of a Marine Protected Area Network in Fiji, has just been published online in Conservation Biology.
I worked on this whilst a postdoc with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Fiji. I think it’s a fantastic little success story of scaling up community-based conservation, and it’s great to see it out.
The paper is open access, and you can download it here:
You can also listen to my co-author Stacy Jupiter talking about about combining traditional knowledge and modern science in Kubulau on Radio Australia, here.
ABSTRACT: Adaptive management of natural resources is an iterative process of decision making whereby management strategies are progressively changed or adjusted in response to new information. Despite an increasing focus on the need for adaptive conservation strategies, there remain few applied examples. We describe the 9-year process of adaptive comanagement of a marine protected area network in Kubulau District, Fiji. In 2011, a review of protected area boundaries and management rules was motivated by the need to enhance management effectiveness and the desire to improve resilience to climate change. Through a series of consultations, with the Wildlife Conservation Society providing scientific input to community decision making, the network of marine protected areas was reconfigured so as to maximize resilience and compliance. Factors identified as contributing to this outcome include well-defined resource-access rights; community respect for a flexible system of customary governance; long-term commitment and presence of comanagement partners; supportive policy environment for comanagement; synthesis of traditional management approaches with systematic monitoring; and district-wide coordination, which provided a broader spatial context for adaptive management decision making.