The USAID SEA Project is heavily involved in addressing fisheries management and marine biodiversity conservation challenges in Indonesia. This 4th issue of Talking SEA focuses on how we can create ‘incentives’ for improved marine resource management and stewardship. Incentives intended to influence resource users to change destructive or over-exploiting behaviors and embrace sustainable practices can take the form of positive ‘carrot’ or negative ‘stick’ approaches. In this issue, we explore both of these approaches and show examples of how they are working to encourage positive change.
Economic. Making sustainable practices economically advantageous can be a strong incentive for change. For example, fishers receiving an increased benefit for their fish catch when they follow certain catch and size limitations can promote sustainable management and prosperity.
Rights and Local Control. Fishers and coastal communities depend primarily on their marine resources for livelihoods and food, so when they have greater rights to manage access to and use of these resources, they feel both empowered and motivated to protect them.
Compliance with Law and Societal Norms. In such a vast archipelago as Indonesia, formal law enforcement agencies are often not sufficiently present or trained to deal with local marine resource-use issues; but there are mechanisms for villages to establish community surveillance groups, known as ‘POKMASWAS’, in protecting their resources through non-deputized actions in coordination with the police.
Education. Most people value education for themselves and for their children. Education is a major and important force in driving behaviour change and the USAID SEA Project provides many educational and training opportunities for coastal residents, government officials, and policy makers so they can better appreciate the value of coastal resources.
Often, people don’t realize what they have and what they risk losing socially, culturally, and in their overall quality of life if they don’t act to protect their marine environment. Education is key in this regard!
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