Comanagement of coral reef social-ecological systems

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Journal Article
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012, 109 (14), pp. 5219 - 5222
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In an effort to deliver better outcomes for people and the ecosystems they depend on, many governments and civil society groups are engaging natural resource users in collaborative management arrangements (frequently called comanagement). However, there are few empirical studies demonstrating the social and institutional conditions conducive to successful comanagement outcomes, especially in small-scale fisheries. Here, we evaluate 42 comanagement arrangements across five countries and show that: (i) comanagement is largely successful at meeting social and ecological goals; (ii) comanagement tends to benefit wealthier resource users; (iii) resource overexploitation is most strongly influenced by market access and users' dependence on resources; and (iv) institutional characteristics strongly influence livelihood and compliance outcomes, yet have little effect on ecological conditions.
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