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Healthy reefs, healthy people: Community-based marine conservation in Papua New Guinea (commentary)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Marine resources play a vital role in food security for coastal communities across Papua New Guinea, which, after Australia, is the largest and most populated country in Oceania. The maintenance of marine ecosystem integrity (the health of these habitats) ensures the provision of the goods and services communities rely on, including seafood, medicine, coastal protection, and carbon capture.Today, these ecosystem services are in jeopardy — but a solution exists in working with local communities to reverse destructive trends.Although this community-focused approach takes time, effort, and money, it represents our best chance for long-term success.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. A blessed country of spectacular landscapes and the most diverse array of cultures on Earth, Papua New Guinea is also a global hotspot for biodiversity. Just in terms of species, the South Pacific nation has more birds than all of North America, over three-quarters of the world’s hard corals, and at least 2,000 reef fish. At least 131 kinds of sharks and rays have been documented in its waters, including four species of endangered sawfish. Indeed, the waters of Papua New Guinea and northern Australia appear to be one of the two most important sawfish strongholds in the world, along with the Southeast U.S.Papua New Guinea supports a wealth of marine habitats, ranging from the shallow waters of coastal mangroves, estuaries, and reefs, to the abyssal plains, sea mounts, and hydrothermal vents of the deep — which, off New Britain, can extend over four miles below sea level, one of the deepest points on Earth. With a coastline over 10,000 miles long and an estimated 1,205,000 square miles of marine waters, Papua New Guinea is the best of the best: a key hotspot of marine life nested within a global marine hotspot, the Coral Triangle.Given this, it may come as no surprise that marine resources play a vital role in food security for coastal communities across Papua New Guinea, which, after Australia, is the largest and most populated country in Oceania. The maintenance of marine ecosystem integrity (the health of these habitats) ensures the provision of the goods and services communities rely on, including seafood, medicine, coastal protection, and carbon capture. Today, these ecosystem services are in jeopardy — but a solution exists in working with local communities to reverse destructive trends.For millennia, Papua New Guinea supported subsistence communities. Human-induced destruction of marine and coastal systems was rare. But the country is growing, globalizing, and modernizing, and many of the traditions and customs that make Papua New Guinea culturally unique — including those associated with managing the land and sea — are starting to fade.WCS collaborates with local people in New Ireland and Manus provinces to establish community-driven fisheries management plans that safeguard local food security and protect coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. Photo © Elodie Van Lierde.Recent exposure to the cash economy and access to global buyers, for instance, has led many residents to exploit their natural resources, including local fisheries, to generate income. Papua New Guinea’s population has increased from 2 million people in the early 1960s to over 8 million today, placing further pressure on fisheries and other natural systems to provide food.In recent decades, the impacts of these changes have become evident to many community elders, who speak of declines in both the abundance and size of fish on their reefs. And this is borne out in WCS’s scientific research, which found that overfishing is occurring in several locations in New Ireland Province and fish sizes have declined over the last decade.Papua New Guinea poses a complex challenge for natural resource management: conserving biological and cultural diversity while ensuring communities develop and sustainably adapt to the modern world. And it must be done within the context of customary land and sea tenure formalities. Most of the land and inshore waters in the country—including reefs and fishing grounds—are owned by residents in the form of traditional tenure systems. And the status of the land and sea can vary considerably from one community to the next.Maintaining the integrity of marine ecosystems ensures they continue to provide the goods and services communities rely on, including seafood, medicine, coastal protection, and carbon capture. Photo © Elodie Van Lierde.From WCS’s experience in two key provinces, an important theme has emerged: The importance of engaging with communities from the start and developing community rapport. If a community is not keen on improving the management of their customary areas, then few conservation objectives will be met and, at worst, such actions may aggravate residents.In our work, we’ve collaborated closely with local people in New Ireland and Manus provinces to establish community-driven fisheries management plans that safeguard local food security and protect coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. Local people working with WCS have been vital to this effort, often spending months developing bonds and exchanging knowledge to build a common understanding and inform conservation actions that are effective and culturally appropriate.Ultimately, a rapport must be established through regular engagement between community members, local government, non-governmental organizations, and other key stakeholders. Such trust encourages the sharing of information, ensures transparency, and ultimately leads to the most effective strategies for sustainably managing marine resources, such as Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs).Since 2014, WCS has worked with 23 coastal communities that rely on seafood for sustenance on the islands of Manus and New Ireland (in Kavieng District) in Papua New Guinea — two priority conservation areas within the Bismarck-Solomon Sea Ecoregion — in order to establish community-specific fisheries management plans to safeguard future food security and protect coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. Map courtesy of WCS.WCS is now working with our partners to get these LMMAs legally formalized, so that the management areas can be enforced under Papua New Guinean law. This approach is consistent with emerging evidence from around the globe that strengthening indigenous tenure rights is a critical strategy for conserving the world’s species and ecosystems.Although this community-focused approach takes time, effort, and money, it represents our best chance for long-term success. We seek to help residents to continue to sustainably manage their land and sea areas for decades to come. Only then will the biological and cultural wonders of Papua New Guinea remain for future generations to appreciate.Marine resources play a vital role in food security for coastal communities across Papua New Guinea. Photo © Elodie Van Lierde.Jonathan Booth is a Marine Conservation Advisor with WCS Papua New Guinea.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Biodiversity, Carbon Sequestration, Commentary, Community-based Conservation, Coral Reefs, Ecosystem Services, Editorials, Environment, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Overfishing, Researcher Perspective Series center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more