1. Planning Begins for Small-Scale Marine Tourism in Maluku’s MPAs
A well-managed marine protected area (MPA) offers pristine natural resources that can potentially attract visitors and contribute revenue to support its management. However, to ensure proper and sustainable tourism development, it is essential that responsible marine tourism programs are identified and incorporated in MPA zoning and management plans. In view of this, the Maluku Provincial Government and USAID SEA recently conducted a small-scale tourism and public-private partnership workshop to identify and provide initial inputs to develop a responsible tourism program to be incorporated into Maluku’s MPA management plans.
Held on 13-15 May 2019 in Ambon City, the workshop had 50 participants from the Marine and Fisheries Agency in Maluku and its district line offices, the Maluku Tourism Agency, other provincial government agencies, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Marine Change, Starling Resources, a local university, other non-governmental organizations, and marine tourism industries in different areas around Maluku. Discussions explored sustainable financing needs and opportunities through government and other sources, and the crucial need for good tourism governance in MPAs through government-private sector partnership, focusing in particular on the MPAs at Sawai Bay, Seram Island, Lease, Koon and Buano. Workshop outputs included technical and stakeholder inputs on sustainable marine tourism, public private partnerships, and sustainable financing relevant to MPA management. Additionally, the workshop resulted in the participants gaining insights on the financial requirements of managing MPAs and the potential for partnerships to support MPAs.