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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 225-237

A Comparative Study of Community-based Sea Turtle Management in Palau: Key Factors for Successful Implementation


1 Current affiliation: Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, 322 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331 and Research undertaken at: Oregon State University, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Marine Resource Management, 104 Ocean Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2 Oregon State Universit y, Department of Anthropology, 238 Waldo Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Correspondence Address:
Julie M Risien
Current affiliation: Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, 322 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331 and Research undertaken at: Oregon State University, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Marine Resource Management, 104 Ocean Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.49215

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This article investigates social, political and cultural aspects of sea turtle management led by the Tobian community at Helen Reef in the Republic of Palau. We use participant observation, unstructured inter­views and examination of community -based natural resource management literature to compare and con­trast the Tobian community with several other communities in Palau in order to identify some of the underlying factors that we believe contributed to the successful implementation of the Tobian commu­nity-based programme. These factors include: robust structure of local and extra-local partnerships; re­mote location of the resource and small scale of the managing community; realised community benefits in terms of jobs and improved capacity to monitor and manage natural resources; adaptive capacity and autonomy in decision-making; and strong connections to traditional natural resource management sys­tems. Sea turtle conservation and management is a large scale issue; preventing further decline of endan­gered sea turtles will require management at multiple scales. For the Tobian community, success may be attributable to several key factors that come together to produce a decentralised community-based pro­gramme that operates with an adaptive, collaborative and bottom-up structure. This model may be appli­cable to comparable communities; it is, however, important to recognise that diverse societies will have a variety of formulas for success.


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