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Importance of Social Capital

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Johnstone, Gareth
Journal: Samudra
Volume: 52
Page(s): 32-36
Date: 2009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4722
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): marine resources
property rights
water resources
Abstract: "The importance of the social aspects of MPAs has also been highlighted in a recent study undertaken by the author in Mozambique. The study examined the relationships between artisanal fishers and tourism operators using private and State-run MPAs, and compared them with open-access areas. The study indicates that when the relationships between different resource users and the State cannot be maintained, then the MPA fails, leaving the fishery resources vulnerable to overuse. The research reveals that MPAs are dependent on their social dimensions, which can be used by different agencies as exclusionary policy devices to reward and penalize different resource users from experiencing the MPAs’ benefits. To understand why an MPA fails, it is important to realize that MPAs are, in fact, property rights, and rely on social mechanisms and processes within society, such as laws and regulations, to function properly. The assumption made in rights-based management is that existing users of a marine resource, such as a coastal fishing community, will be willing to co-operate with the State when an MPA is sanctioned and will respect the rules governing the MPA. As a result, this will lead to compliance with the new MPA rules and better fishery management."

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