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Local framework guides management of conservation areas

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) – Reimaanlok Project has developed the Reimaanlok Conservation Area Management Planning Framework which is an 8-step approach to conservation area management and planning for atoll communities in the Marshall Islands.

When triggered by an atoll community’s leadership the process unfolds as follows:

  • Scoping and budgeting exercise
  • Site visits by Reimaanlok facilitator
  • Build awareness on the need for resource planning by the target atoll community
  • Gathering and analysis of various natural and social resource data parameters
  • Design Phase
  • Legislate
  • Develop an integrated atoll resource management plan inclusive of programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and adaptive management
  • Ensure local commitment retention

Given the specific needs and unique circumstances of atoll municipalities, the Reimaanlok facilitation consortium, known as the Coastal Management Advisory Council (CMAC), may follow these eight steps in a linear or iterative process. This helps foster a sense of trust and shared purpose within the community and of the Reimaanlok facilitators, so that the process itself is an empowering experience for atoll communities and a vehicle for national cohesion and shared purpose among members of CMAC.

The framework was developed by a team of local and international resource management professionals, over an intensive 8-month period and has thus far been implemented in various RMI atolls and islands, including the remote Bikar and Bokak atolls.

Like many other small island developing states,  the Marshall Islands has a strong dependence on its natural resources and biodiversity – not only for food and income but because these relationships form the basis of Marshallese culture and society. The unique culture and way of life of the Marshallese people have developed in harmony with their natural environment over thousands of years and this project seeks to protect that for many more years to come.

More information on this initiative may be accessed here and here

Image Caption: Site visit on a marine conservation area in RMI

Image Credit: Marshall Islands Marine Resources and Authority (MIMRA)

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