Fixing marine governance in Fiji? The new scalar narrative of ecosystem-based management


Journal Article

Although there is widespread concern over degrading marine environments, there is debate within the global marine conservation agenda about the nature of the problem and appropriate solutions. At the center of this debate lie questions about the appropriate scale at which to plan and implement marine resource management. In the late 1990s, Fiji became recognized as one of the most successful examples of community-based marine resource management in the world. Recently, there has been a move to manage human-environment interactions at larger "natural" scales. We draw from the political ecology and "politics of scale" literatures, and a critical realist understanding of nature and politics, to explain the emergence of large-scale management and conservation in Fiji. We contribute to a "political ecology of scale" by developing the concept of a scalar narrative to show how social and ecological scales are reworked in the development of an ecosystem-based approach to marine management in Fiji. In doing so, we consider implications of the struggle to define the appropriate scale of marine management, which is closely bound to debates about the role of science and local participation. Our findings suggest that the struggle to define the scale at which marine management should be planned and implemented is inseparable from the struggle over who should define, inform, and conduct the governance process. We aim to clarify marine policy debates as policy actors worldwide move forward to implement ecosystem-based management, increase marine protected area coverage, and pursue sustainable development. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sievanen, L; Gruby, RL; Campbell, LM

Published Date

  • February 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 206 - 216

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-3780

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.10.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus