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New Joint project on Marine Protected Areas and Poverty released [30 November 2007]

Four countries, four marine protected areas, a strong study methodology, and more than 1,000 interviews with local people.The findings conclusively show that “people in the community are now better off and this is because of the marine protected area,” as a local person in the Philippines explained.

In one of the first studies of its kind, a large team sought to determine whether fourmarine protected areas have contributed to poverty reduction, and if so, why. The study sites are in Fiji (Navakavu), the the Solomon Islands (Arnavon Islands), Indonesia (Bunaken) and the Philippines (Apo Island).

The sites are not a random sample but were deliberately chosen because local experts believe they have contributed to poverty reduction. The objective was to study potentially positive examples to see if there are common factors for success. There are in fact several shared reasons why these particular marine protected areas helped reduce local poverty. Replicating these success factors can help marine protected areas in general contribute more to reducing local poverty.

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