Scaling and sustaining local marine protection: a new community conservation toolkit

Scaling and sustaining local marine protection: a new community conservation toolkit

Sharing best practices in locally-led conservation is an essential component of empowering communities in marine protection. A new toolkit produced by Blue Ventures for Madagascar’s locally managed marine area network MIHARI provides practical guidance for communities setting up local marine conservation initiatives.

Locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) are marine and coastal areas managed by local communities to help protect fisheries and safeguard marine biodiversity. They encompass diverse approaches to management and governance, and while their sizes and contexts vary widely, they all share the common theme of placing local communities at the heart of management.

From as far afield as Fiji, Kenya and Costa Rica, LMMAs have been shown to be the most effective tool available to reduce local conflicts over fisheries, conserve marine biodiversity, and improve catches.

Established in 2012 to exchange learning and experiences across Madagascar’s growing movement of communities developing local marine and fisheries management activities, MIHARI now represents over 100 LMMA initiatives, collectively covering over 14% of the island’s inshore seabed. Blue Ventures has spent almost fifteen years supporting coastal communities across Madagascar and the Indian Ocean region to establish LMMAs that help protect the marine resources upon which local livelihoods depend.

While no two LMMAs are the same, certain processes, tools and techniques can increase the chances of a successful outcome. This toolkit distills over a decade of learning into a series of practical guides, aimed at conservation organisations and community leaders.

Comments, feedback, further case studies and examples are welcomed. Please contact us for more information.

Get access to Blue Ventures’ new LMMA toolkit.


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