Is marine protection compatible with the right to economic development in Pacific Island States?

Sue Farran

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The international community is keen to engage all states in the global agenda to protect and preserve marine habitat and ocean eco-systems. Building on the strategic goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi Target 11 is for 17% of terrestrial and inland water and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas to be protected by 2020. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 is to conserve oceans, seas and marine resources and in 2016 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature advocated for 30% of the world’s oceans to be protected while the Nature Needs Half Movement is advocating 50%. At the same time, it is recognised that indigenous peoples have a right to development and a right to determine their own form and pace of development. For Pacific island people that increasingly means developing a blue-green economy in which terrestrial and marine resources are utilised to advance the wealth and health of island people.

Building on research looking at the declaration of Marine Protected Areas around non-sovereign island states and the impact of these on the rights and lives of indigenous people more broadly, this paper looks at the initiatives adopted by Pacific islands to create marine protected areas (MPAs) and locally managed marine areas (LMMAs). In particular, this paper considers the motivation behind the creation of MPAs and LMMAs, the stakeholders involved, the management structures adopted and the benefits and/or disadvantages - not only to the environment but also to the lives of Pacific islanders - flowing from categorising marine resources in this way.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2018
EventNew Zealand Studies Association: Regional Identities & Coastal Communities of the Pacific - Aveiro, Portugal
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018


ConferenceNew Zealand Studies Association


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