IUCN is pleased to announce the release of a policy and legislation gap analysis for marine protected areas in the Fiji Islands. The paper was prepared on behalf of the IUCN Regional Office for Oceania, at the request of the WWF South Pacific Programme, and was co-authored by IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (CEL) member, Ms Erika Techera, and IUCN Legal Research Intern, Ms Shauna Troniak.
“In this report, the authors provide a thoughtful analysis of key legal and policy issues associated with the establishment of marine protected areas in Fiji, with a particular emphasis on the role of local communities in the management of coastal marine resources,” said Pepe Clarke, IUCN CEL Regional Focal Point for Oceania.
In particular, the authors recommend:
• harmonisation of existing laws and policies to improve administration and reduce fragmentation;
• amendments to fisheries legislation to allow greater community involvement in designation and management of inshore marine protected areas;
• adoption of comprehensive protected area legislation to support the establishment of inshore and offshore marine protected areas; and
• strengthening the locally management marine area (LMMA) network in Fiji.
Ms Techera is a senior lecturer with the Macquarie University Centre for Environmental Law in Sydney, Australia. She lectures in environmental and marine biodiversity law and has a specialist research interest in the recognition of customary law and community-based conservation in the South Pacific. She has recently completed her PhD thesis on the topic 'The Role of Customary Law in Community-based Marine Management in the South Pacific'. Ms Techera is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
Ms Troniak completed a three month legal internship with the IUCN Regional Office for Oceania in 2008. During her internship, she undertook significant research on legal issues related to community-based management of marine resources in Fiji, including a series of interviews with key stakeholders. She has previously worked with the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, the University of Quebec in Ottawa, and the World Bank in Washington, DC. Her internship was made possible by the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.