Although overall national policies are developed by the national

Although overall national policies are developed by the national government and guide nature conservation in Indonesia, implicit in the autonomy law is the rights of indigenous Papuans to protect, manage and exploit their natural resources, including fisheries and forests. Indigenous Papuan communities have long-ago established a system of territorial use rights fisheries to manage the access of family clans to reefs in the BHS, which is fundamental to their societal structure (Donnelly et

al., 2003 and McLeod et al., 2009). The customary (‘adat’) law is a set of unwritten laws, which regulate the rights and duties of indigenous communities, including towards their natural resources. Traditional systems of tenure for land and sea are highly complex and highly variable across Papua ( McLeod et al., 2009). Land and sea tenure is not written into formal law, but Selleck Torin 1 passed on verbally from one generation to another with resource rights vested in individuals, families, clans or entire communities. Consequently there is very little formal private land ownership in Papua, though communities have the rights to lease their selleck areas to outsiders or

give permission to outsiders to exploit their natural resources. Many coastal Papuan communities in eastern Indonesia also implement a traditional system of natural resource management on the land and in the sea called ‘sasi’. In the sea, sasi most often involves temporal closures of specific fisheries resources (e.g. sea cucumbers, Trochus) or fisheries areas for periods ranging from 6 months to 5 years ( McLeod et al., 2009). The degree to which sasi and other conservation-oriented customary practices are honored by villages throughout the BHS varies from full compliance to disuse. MPAs or MPA networks are seen as a key tool to address in water threats to BHS reefs

and to contribute to see more biodiversity conservation and sustainable fisheries (Coral Triangle Initiative, 2009). The identification of critical marine areas for protection and management first began in the BHS in the early 1990s, mostly initiated by WWF/IUCN, and followed by a number of conservation projects that focused on community empowerment in implementing marine resource management. Since then, conservation initiatives have grown and there are currently 12 MPAs in the BHS with active management in place, ranging in size from 5000 to 1,453,500 ha and covering a total area of 3,594,702 ha (Fig. 1; Table 2). This figure includes Cendrawasih Bay National Marine Park, which is the second largest MPA in Indonesia covering 1,453,500 ha, and the Kaimana MPA which covers all of Kaimana’s jurisdictional waters (597,747 ha).

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