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The Relevance of Governance Institutions in Marine Protected Area Design and Management: Lessons from Northeastern Iloilo, Philippines

Author(s): Pepito Fernandez, Jr.

Journal: Science Diliman
ISSN 0115-7809

Volume: 18;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 18;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: marine protected area | post-colonial fisheries setting | tropical marine fisheries setting

The experience of the Philippines on decentralized marine protected area (MPA) management can providean instructive purview of nature-society processes and politics of scale in a post-colonial and tropicalmarine fisheries setting. This paper examines and analyzes the comparative advantage and limitationsin adopting government regulation, community-based initiatives and co-management arrangements (i.e.,rules) in designing and implementing MPAs to meet conservation and livelihood goals. The theoreticaldiscussion will be enriched by providing relevant contextual factors (i.e., biophysical setting, communityattributes and institutional setting) from secondary literature and social science field data gathered fromMarch to December 2005 in various coastal municipalities in Northeastern Iloilo Province, Philippines.The study site contains 17 MPAs established between 1994 to 2004 with diverse backgrounds andprofiles, and are governed by various alliances (state and/or non-state actors) in different scales (i.e.,local to international). The paper will argue that no single institutional arrangement is likely to beeffective in addressing all the circumstances surrounding MPA design and implementation. But in themilieu of a depleted natural resource base, and the continued deterioration of the livelihood and healthof poor people, environmental protection of MPAs and municipal fishing grounds of subsistence fishersshould be prioritized by various actors and policy networks.

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