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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 : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 63-72

Promoting Social Accountability for Equitable Fisheries Within Beach Management Units in Lake Victoria (Kenya)


1 IHE Delft, Delft; Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, University of Wageningen, Wageningen, The Netherlands; State Department For Fisheries and The Blue Economy, Kenya Fisheries Service, Lake Victoria Regional Office, Kisumu, Kenya
2 IHE Delft, Delft; Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 IHE Delft, Delft; Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, University of Wageningen, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Christine Adhiambo Etiegni
IHE Delft, Delft; Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, University of Wageningen, Wageningen; State Department For Fisheries and The Blue Economy, Kenya Fisheries Service, Lake Victoria Regional Office, Kisumu

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_18_10

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The decentralisation of resource management through co-management assumes that the devolution of power benefits resource users. This assumption is often premised on the democratic election of leaders within resource user organisations. In this article, we investigate the validity of co-management assumptions about who benefits from a devolution of decision-making power through a case study analysis of political equity in fisherfolk organisations of Beach Management Units (BMUs) in Lake Victoria (Kenya). From the analysis of the distribution of political power, we identify how, where, and for whom greater accountability can work to address the current political inertia of fisherfolk, who form a majority of the BMU membership. We also identify the relationships between the empowerment of fisherfolk, the accountability of the BMU leaders, and the distribution of political power determining decision making in co-management. We conclude with identifying how other mechanisms of social accountability beyond elections can improve accountability of elected leaders of resource users for improved co-management outcomes.


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