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Community-based marine resource management in Fiji - from yesterday to tomorrow

Lookup NU author(s): Annette Mühlig Genannt Hofmann, Professor Nick Polunin, Professor Selina Stead, Nicholas Graham


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There are various ways in which local communities are, and can become more, involved in reef management. Attempts have been made to comprehensively highlight successes and failures, but with little rigorous assessment of what the conditions of long-term success are. Fiji represents a unique case because its customary fishing-rights areas (qoliqoli) constitute a form of dual ownership, establishing a connection between indigenous owners and central government for management purposes. However, this so-called cooperative comanagement approach has not been uniform across Fiji; different levels of government- and communityinvolvement are present, and the approach has been a source of confusion and disputes. One issue is whether ‘ownership’ of the qoliqoli should include both the marine resources and the seafloor, the latter being currently owned by the state. This review takes a critical look at issues of ‘traditional conservation’, origins of the existing qoliqoli system, perceptions of it by the people primarily concerned, the forces driving its evolution and its impact on marine resource use. It sheds light on and explores the boundaries of 'co-management' in Fiji, and assesses previous efforts to find a way forward. It shows that without organising its forces, Fiji will not be able to maintain its natural marine resources.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mühlig-Hofmann A, Veitayaki J, Polunin NVC, Stead S, Graham NAJ

Editor(s): Suzuki, Y., Nakamori, T.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 10th International Coral Reef Symposium: Stability and Degradation of Coral Reef Ecosystems

Year of Conference: 2006

Pages: 1259-1266

Publisher: International Society for Reef Studies, Japanese Coral Reef Society