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Marine Policy
Volume 137, 2022, 104939

Marine conservation beyond MPAs: Towards the recognition of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) in Indonesia

Estradivaria,b,i, Muh. Firdaus Agungc, Dedi Supriadi Adhurid, Sebastian C.A. Ferseb,e

Ecology Department, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen, Germany.

Abstract

In a marine environment that is rapidly changing due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, area-based management tools are often used to mitigate threats and conserve biodiversity. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are amongst the most widespread and recognized marine conservation tools worldwide, however, MPAs alone are inadequate to address the environmental crisis. The promotion of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) under draft Target 3 of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, i.e., conserving 30% of marine areas by 2030, holds promise to acknowledge sites and practices occurring beyond MPAs that contribute to conservation. Here, we evaluate the potential recognition of OECMs into Indonesia's national policy framework on marine resource management and provide the first-ever overview of distribution and types of potential marine OECMs in Indonesia, including a review of the existing evidence on conservation effectiveness. We identified > 390 potential marine OECMs, led by government, customary and local communities, or the private sector, towards diverse management objectives, including habitat protection, traditional/customary management, fisheries, tourism, or other purposes. While some evidence exists regarding the conservation effectiveness of these practices, the long-term impacts on biodiversity of all potential marine OECMs in Indonesia are unknown. Many OECM elements have been included in several national policies, yet there are no established mechanisms to identify, recognize and report sites as OECMs in Indonesia. We propose four transformational strategies for future OECM recognition in Indonesia, namely: (i) safeguard customary and traditional communities, (ii) leverage cross-sector and cross-scale collaboration, (iii) focus on delivering outcomes, and (iv) streamline legal frameworks. Our study shows that OECMs have the potential to play a significant role in underpinning marine area-based conservation in Indonesia, including supporting the Government of Indonesia in reaching national and international conservation targets and goals.

Keywords: Area-based management, Biodiversity conservation, Customary management, FisheriesCo-management, Sustainable marine management.

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