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AGMTAO JA 2017-0118: Revisiting Tensions and Successes of Marine Protected Areas in a Visayan Municipality

Evaluating the success of a marine protected area (MPA) does not end with its establishment. This has to be seen in terms of its management and is a result of tedious and tensive technological and social processes, evident in the clash among four ‘communities’: the scientists associated with the academe, the authorities from government and non-government organizations, the advocates comprised of conservation groups and donors, and the resource users represented by the fishery and tourism sectors. The enforcement of MPAs, promoted by conservation science and legitimized by the state, to regulate tourism and prevent fishing activities in certain bodies of water can be biologically successful but socially a failure if discontent is harbored by the affected communities of resource users. In this article, contested issues expressed in spatial claims and counter-claims, the traditional views of open access versus conservation science, and tourism representations of marine spaces, are re-examined employing a historical approach based on my work with MPAs in Dauin, Negros Oriental in Central Visayas, Philippines since 10 years ago, to demonstrate the still unresolved issues at present regarding the appropriation of marine spaces and benefits that have to be realistically felt by all stakeholders. Among others, these issues center on the reasonableness of the privilege extended to paying recreational divers, the imposed amount of user fees, restrictions of fishing within the buffer zone, benefits to displaced fishers but who are non-members of fishers associations.

Silliman University
Authors Keywords
Oracion, Enrique G.; ;
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Published in 2017 and available for Downloaded 10,195 times since June 24, 2020
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