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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 212-220

Conservation Narratives and Their Implications in the Coral Triangle Initiative

1 Environmental Change and Governance Group, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
2 Environmental Change and Governance Group, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Samantha Berdej
Environmental Change and Governance Group, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.164208

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Conserving coral reefs, sustaining fisheries, and ensuring food security are multi-faceted challenges. Six nations in the Southeast Asia Coral Triangle have agreed to a region-wide framework to address these challenges through the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI). Based on a review of documentation, selected discussions and ongoing work in the region, we offer an initial assessment of narratives influencing conservation practice in the CTI. Current efforts in the CTI are framed by a crisis narrative that emphasises the importance of maintaining critical ecosystems and baseline conditions. This narrative has a strong empirical basis but it can also exacerbate a dualistic view of people and nature. However, CTI documentation and programming also reflect a recognition of linked social-ecological change and the historical co-evolution of communities and coastal-marine systems. This emerging narrative places an emphasis on building resilience to change, rather than resisting change. We do not advocate here for a single narrative with which to frame policy responses in the CTI, but rather draw attention to the ways that mainstreaming of certain narratives will have material effects on initiatives and programmes promoted in this region of globally significant marine biodiversity.

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