Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

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Locally Managed Marine Areas

Fiji Monuriki  Monu Islands Stuart Chape

Bright Spot Description:

Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA's) are protected areas that are largely or wholly managed by coastal communities and/or land-owning groups, with the support of government and partner representatives. The communities impose restrictions on areas such as 'no-take zones' and on certain equipment, practices, species or sizes of catches. These zones or restrictions allow resource and habitat recovery in over exploited areas, enabling a return to more sustainable harvest of marine resources for the community.

First recognized in Fiji, LMMA's are being replicated across coastal communities world-wide. More than 420 Indo-Pacific sites in the LMMA network involve around 600 villages and LMMAs cover more than 12,000 km2 in 15 Pacific Island States. LMMAs are now in Madagascar and Indian Ocean. The LMMA Network is a global initiative founded in 2000 to advance LMMA practices around the world. It consists of communities, dedicated practitioners and government officials all focused on community-based marine resource management projects, providing capacity building, awareness and monitoring support. The Network is about sharing ideas and experiences to improve the performance of LMMAs while empowering greater numbers of communities to manage their marine resources in a sustainable way .

What makes it Bright?

  • Local planning and management of a marine reserve

  • Encourages use of local and traditional management practices and customs to resolve issues around environmental degradation and over exploitation of resources

  • A process of hybridization between traditional and contemporary governance systems and knowledge

  • Community-based solution to issues such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices, pollution, sedimentation and other physical damage


Initiated in Fiji and since replicated across Pacific, Asia, Indian Ocean and Caribbean

Focal Point:

Wendy Tan, LMMA Network,

Fiji LMMA Case Study - Village By Village - Recovering Fiji's Coastal Fisheries


For further examples of Pacific MPA bright spots and case studies, refer to "Good Coastal Management practices in the Pacific: Experiences from the field. 2011. International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)" and "Status and potential of locally-managed marine areas in the Pacific Island Region: meeting nature conservation and sustainable livelihood targets through wide-spread implementation of LMMAs". (Govan, H. et al. 2009).