Multi-use Marine Protected Areas and Coastal Conservation in Tropical Countries

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"The themes of this MARE Conference, and the focus of my talk on social science perspectives and opportunities for anthropological inputs especially in terms of developing viable, multiuse MPAs come at a time when events are swiftly changing the scope and course of marine management worldwide. In this case, I believe it is incumbent on social scientists to find ways to become more fully engaged in the multidisciplinary scientific and resource management debates surrounding MPAs, and contribute to critical thinking, knowledge, policymaking assistance and services that can support traditional (artisanal) and indigenous fishing communities. These communities, their territorial rights and claims and culture heritage interests need to be strengthened so local initiatives and longstanding resource management practices and environmental knowledge systems don't get lost and have a chance to adapt to expanding scales of fisheries management and governance and to the globalizing MPA agendas of applied biodiversity science. (Cordell 2000, Polunin 1990). As the world's last tropical sea frontiers vanish, once remote indigenous, and traditional fishing societies are being increasingly marginalized or disappearing altogether, along with many highly productive, potentially sustainable smallscale fisheries. Yet conservation impacts on biologically significant scales cannot be achieved by reinventing social marginality within single issue, exclusively biodiversity driven, coral reef action plans, for example. The point of view I want to get across in my presentation is that 'other culture' sea management concepts, property rights, and discourses merit much great appreciation and careful consideration than has so far been the case in establishing MPAs, alongside the 'master discourse,' 'metanarratives' and metadatabases of conservation science. (Cordell 2000, Diegues 1999)."



marine resources, protected areas, tropics, conservation