Trends and challenges for sustainable marine resource management for rural Solomon Islanders
Bennett, G. P. (2014). Trends and challenges for sustainable marine resource management for rural Solomon Islanders (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8662
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8662
Much has been claimed about the positive benefits of the customary marine tenure (CMT) system in the South Pacific and its implications for resource management. In Solomon Islands the premise of effective community-based resource management (CBRM) as a contemporary management tool, rests to a great degree on CMT, but does CMT still provide a sufficiently strong foundation to support this premise?This research examines the social and environmental characteristics of two rural Solomon Islands coastal communities that have a long history in customary marine tenure; one with a strong chiefly system and the other one with a weaker chiefly system. The research gains insight into and an understanding of the experiences and lives of the villagers, given current debates on the need to address and move forward with the concept of CBRM with regards to the sustainability issues that they are currently confronting.Using primarily qualitative methodologies the study focused on how marine resources are perceived and valued by different members of the community. The findings suggest that in communities where a common agreement on CMT no longer exists there is a significant challenge to stakeholders in attaining the goal of sustainably managed coastal marine resources through community based approaches. This challenge needs to be accounted for on a case by case basis as part of CBRM facilitation processes. While this research may true for much of Solomon Islands, the case studies have revealed that although the villages are made up of families who are closely related they are not unified as a whole. Study findings suggest that the people retain a lingering vision of a small, integrated community but have failed to grasp how their differences as a community have affected their resource management outcomes.The present day communities are affected by many outside factors that did not exist when traditional management systems were evolving. These factors bring management challenges for which traditional arrangements were not designed to cope and thus many have severely destabilising effects on the performance of traditional systems.
University of Waikato
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