Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste

Alexander Tilley, Kimberley J. Hunnam, David J. Mills, Dirk J. Steenbergen, Hugh Govan, Enrique Alonso-Poblacion, Matthew Roscher, Mario Pereira, Pedro Rodrigues, Teresa Amador, Agustinha Duarte, Mario Gomes, Philippa J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Fisheries co-management is an increasingly globalized concept, and a cornerstone of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization member states in 2014. Timor-Leste is a politically young country in the relatively rare position of having underexploited fisheries in some areas that can be leveraged to improve coastal livelihood outcomes and food and nutrition security. The collaborative and decentralized characteristics of co-management appeal to policymakers in Timor-Leste with provisions for co-management and customary laws applied to resource use were incorporated into state law in 2004 and again reinforced in 2012 revisions. The first fisheries co-management pilots have commenced where management arrangements have been codified through tara bandu, a process of setting local laws built around ritual practice that prohibits nominated activities under threat of spiritual and material sanctions. To date, however, there has been little critical evaluation of the suitability or potential effectiveness of co-management or tara bandu in the Timor-Leste fisheries context. To address this gap, we adapted the interactive governance framework to review the ecological, social and governance characteristics of Timor-Leste's fisheries to explore whether co-management offers a valid and viable resource governance model. We present two co-management case studies and examine how they were established, who was involved, the local institutional structures, and the fisheries governance challenges they sought to address. Despite their relative proximity, the two sites contrasted in local ecology and fishery type; community institutions were starkly different but equally strong; and one site had tangible economic benefits to justify compliance, where the other had marginal and anecdotal fishery gains. In our review of the broader governance landscape in Timor-Leste, we see co-management as a useful mechanism to govern small-scale fisheries, but there is a need to connect legitimized local institutions with hierarchical governance of higher and external influences. Initial successes with implementing tara bandu incorporating a small marine closure have stimulated other communities to implement no-take zones - one universally popular but very limited interpretation of co-management. However, we highlight the need for a set of guiding principles to ensure legitimate community engagement, and avoid external appropriation that may reinforce marginalization of certain user groups or customary power hierarchies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number392
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume6
Issue numberJuly
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

East Timor
collaborative management
comanagement
Fisheries
governance
fishery
fisheries
Food and Agriculture Organization
sanction
United Nations
food
marginalization
Ecology
Nutrition
poverty
livelihood
food security
resource use
compliance
Agriculture

Cite this

Tilley, A., Hunnam, K. J., Mills, D. J., Steenbergen, D. J., Govan, H., Alonso-Poblacion, E., ... Cohen, P. J. (2019). Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6(July), 1-17. [392]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00392
Tilley, Alexander ; Hunnam, Kimberley J. ; Mills, David J. ; Steenbergen, Dirk J. ; Govan, Hugh ; Alonso-Poblacion, Enrique ; Roscher, Matthew ; Pereira, Mario ; Rodrigues, Pedro ; Amador, Teresa ; Duarte, Agustinha ; Gomes, Mario ; Cohen, Philippa J. / Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste. In: Frontiers in Marine Science. 2019 ; Vol. 6, No. July. pp. 1-17.
@article{1ce1b5b5768e44998a318026fb43514d,
title = "Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste",
abstract = "Fisheries co-management is an increasingly globalized concept, and a cornerstone of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization member states in 2014. Timor-Leste is a politically young country in the relatively rare position of having underexploited fisheries in some areas that can be leveraged to improve coastal livelihood outcomes and food and nutrition security. The collaborative and decentralized characteristics of co-management appeal to policymakers in Timor-Leste with provisions for co-management and customary laws applied to resource use were incorporated into state law in 2004 and again reinforced in 2012 revisions. The first fisheries co-management pilots have commenced where management arrangements have been codified through tara bandu, a process of setting local laws built around ritual practice that prohibits nominated activities under threat of spiritual and material sanctions. To date, however, there has been little critical evaluation of the suitability or potential effectiveness of co-management or tara bandu in the Timor-Leste fisheries context. To address this gap, we adapted the interactive governance framework to review the ecological, social and governance characteristics of Timor-Leste's fisheries to explore whether co-management offers a valid and viable resource governance model. We present two co-management case studies and examine how they were established, who was involved, the local institutional structures, and the fisheries governance challenges they sought to address. Despite their relative proximity, the two sites contrasted in local ecology and fishery type; community institutions were starkly different but equally strong; and one site had tangible economic benefits to justify compliance, where the other had marginal and anecdotal fishery gains. In our review of the broader governance landscape in Timor-Leste, we see co-management as a useful mechanism to govern small-scale fisheries, but there is a need to connect legitimized local institutions with hierarchical governance of higher and external influences. Initial successes with implementing tara bandu incorporating a small marine closure have stimulated other communities to implement no-take zones - one universally popular but very limited interpretation of co-management. However, we highlight the need for a set of guiding principles to ensure legitimate community engagement, and avoid external appropriation that may reinforce marginalization of certain user groups or customary power hierarchies.",
keywords = "Community-based resource management, Customary marine tenure, Governance, Legal pluralism, Tradition",
author = "Alexander Tilley and Hunnam, {Kimberley J.} and Mills, {David J.} and Steenbergen, {Dirk J.} and Hugh Govan and Enrique Alonso-Poblacion and Matthew Roscher and Mario Pereira and Pedro Rodrigues and Teresa Amador and Agustinha Duarte and Mario Gomes and Cohen, {Philippa J.}",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "12",
doi = "10.3389/fmars.2019.00392",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "1--17",
journal = "Frontiers in Marine Science",
issn = "2296-7745",
publisher = "Frontiers Research Foundation",
number = "July",

}

Tilley, A, Hunnam, KJ, Mills, DJ, Steenbergen, DJ, Govan, H, Alonso-Poblacion, E, Roscher, M, Pereira, M, Rodrigues, P, Amador, T, Duarte, A, Gomes, M & Cohen, PJ 2019, 'Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste', Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 6, no. July, 392, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00392

Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste. / Tilley, Alexander; Hunnam, Kimberley J.; Mills, David J.; Steenbergen, Dirk J.; Govan, Hugh; Alonso-Poblacion, Enrique; Roscher, Matthew; Pereira, Mario; Rodrigues, Pedro; Amador, Teresa; Duarte, Agustinha; Gomes, Mario; Cohen, Philippa J.

In: Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 6, No. July, 392, 12.07.2019, p. 1-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste

AU - Tilley, Alexander

AU - Hunnam, Kimberley J.

AU - Mills, David J.

AU - Steenbergen, Dirk J.

AU - Govan, Hugh

AU - Alonso-Poblacion, Enrique

AU - Roscher, Matthew

AU - Pereira, Mario

AU - Rodrigues, Pedro

AU - Amador, Teresa

AU - Duarte, Agustinha

AU - Gomes, Mario

AU - Cohen, Philippa J.

PY - 2019/7/12

Y1 - 2019/7/12

N2 - Fisheries co-management is an increasingly globalized concept, and a cornerstone of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization member states in 2014. Timor-Leste is a politically young country in the relatively rare position of having underexploited fisheries in some areas that can be leveraged to improve coastal livelihood outcomes and food and nutrition security. The collaborative and decentralized characteristics of co-management appeal to policymakers in Timor-Leste with provisions for co-management and customary laws applied to resource use were incorporated into state law in 2004 and again reinforced in 2012 revisions. The first fisheries co-management pilots have commenced where management arrangements have been codified through tara bandu, a process of setting local laws built around ritual practice that prohibits nominated activities under threat of spiritual and material sanctions. To date, however, there has been little critical evaluation of the suitability or potential effectiveness of co-management or tara bandu in the Timor-Leste fisheries context. To address this gap, we adapted the interactive governance framework to review the ecological, social and governance characteristics of Timor-Leste's fisheries to explore whether co-management offers a valid and viable resource governance model. We present two co-management case studies and examine how they were established, who was involved, the local institutional structures, and the fisheries governance challenges they sought to address. Despite their relative proximity, the two sites contrasted in local ecology and fishery type; community institutions were starkly different but equally strong; and one site had tangible economic benefits to justify compliance, where the other had marginal and anecdotal fishery gains. In our review of the broader governance landscape in Timor-Leste, we see co-management as a useful mechanism to govern small-scale fisheries, but there is a need to connect legitimized local institutions with hierarchical governance of higher and external influences. Initial successes with implementing tara bandu incorporating a small marine closure have stimulated other communities to implement no-take zones - one universally popular but very limited interpretation of co-management. However, we highlight the need for a set of guiding principles to ensure legitimate community engagement, and avoid external appropriation that may reinforce marginalization of certain user groups or customary power hierarchies.

AB - Fisheries co-management is an increasingly globalized concept, and a cornerstone of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization member states in 2014. Timor-Leste is a politically young country in the relatively rare position of having underexploited fisheries in some areas that can be leveraged to improve coastal livelihood outcomes and food and nutrition security. The collaborative and decentralized characteristics of co-management appeal to policymakers in Timor-Leste with provisions for co-management and customary laws applied to resource use were incorporated into state law in 2004 and again reinforced in 2012 revisions. The first fisheries co-management pilots have commenced where management arrangements have been codified through tara bandu, a process of setting local laws built around ritual practice that prohibits nominated activities under threat of spiritual and material sanctions. To date, however, there has been little critical evaluation of the suitability or potential effectiveness of co-management or tara bandu in the Timor-Leste fisheries context. To address this gap, we adapted the interactive governance framework to review the ecological, social and governance characteristics of Timor-Leste's fisheries to explore whether co-management offers a valid and viable resource governance model. We present two co-management case studies and examine how they were established, who was involved, the local institutional structures, and the fisheries governance challenges they sought to address. Despite their relative proximity, the two sites contrasted in local ecology and fishery type; community institutions were starkly different but equally strong; and one site had tangible economic benefits to justify compliance, where the other had marginal and anecdotal fishery gains. In our review of the broader governance landscape in Timor-Leste, we see co-management as a useful mechanism to govern small-scale fisheries, but there is a need to connect legitimized local institutions with hierarchical governance of higher and external influences. Initial successes with implementing tara bandu incorporating a small marine closure have stimulated other communities to implement no-take zones - one universally popular but very limited interpretation of co-management. However, we highlight the need for a set of guiding principles to ensure legitimate community engagement, and avoid external appropriation that may reinforce marginalization of certain user groups or customary power hierarchies.

KW - Community-based resource management

KW - Customary marine tenure

KW - Governance

KW - Legal pluralism

KW - Tradition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85069781680&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fmars.2019.00392

DO - 10.3389/fmars.2019.00392

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 1

EP - 17

JO - Frontiers in Marine Science

JF - Frontiers in Marine Science

SN - 2296-7745

IS - July

M1 - 392

ER -

Tilley A, Hunnam KJ, Mills DJ, Steenbergen DJ, Govan H, Alonso-Poblacion E et al. Evaluating the fit of co-management for small-scale fisheries governance in timor-leste. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2019 Jul 12;6(July):1-17. 392. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00392