A recent study funded by The Nature Conservancy, the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Water Resources, and the Poverty Reduction and Environment Management Project at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Nature’s Investment Bank: How Marine Protected Areas Contribute to Poverty Reduction, found that marine protected areas (MPAs) can help alleviate poverty.
Their study, conducted in Navakavu, Fiji; Bunaken, Indonesia; Arnavon Islands in the Solomon Islands; and Apo Island, the Philippines, found that MPAs contribute to improved fish catches, new jobs, stronger local governance, health benefits, and benefits to women. The study has three recommendations: commit to financial investment in protected areas, both in the initial set up and in subsequent years; develop a network of smaller, ecologically connected MPA sites, each linked to a community, to increase local access to benefits; and, empower local communities in the decision making and management of the marine protected area.
Source: The Nature Conservancy, December 2007
See also associated article: New Scientist, Ecotourism Benefits Nature and Reduces Poverty, 12, December 2007