Cinner and Customary Marine Tenure in the Indo-Pacific
Western Pacific regions employ resourceful management techniques aimed at reducing and limiting the use of marine resources. Marine resources are socially, economically, and culturally beneficial to the members of the communities located across the Pacific regions. It is therefore important to protect, preserve, and conserve them against misuse and wastage. Customary Marine Tenure (CMT) is a major technique utilized in protecting and conserving marine resources across Pacific regions. The technique includes various measures, such as gear restrictions, protecting spawning aggregations, periodic reef closures, and limited entries. Customary Marine Tenure techniques are legal, cultural, and economic foundations with the potential to conserve marine resources. More so, they have the capability to meet the needs and wants of community members, governmental, non-governmental, and administrative bodies (Joshua 1).
This article will therefore focus on Customary Marine Tenure while defining relationships aligned to conservation procedures. The article will attempt to examine and discuss current relationships in order to formulate applicable changes to be adopted in the future. The changes should be implemented to enhance conservation, preservation, and development projects within the Customary Marine Tenures. Thus, it is an article evaluating the possible use of the common property to address the common problems in communities and regions within the Customary Marine Tenures.
Customary Marine Tenure in the Indo-Pacific
Socioeconomic status and marine tenure conditions are characterized differently and diversely. The regions, communities, and members employ different talents tasked with maintaining the Customary Marine Tenure regimes. Their duties and tasks are influenced by social, economic, cultural, religious, and political factors. The factors influence the presence of exclusive marine tenure systems. They include the distance between marketplaces, dependence on fishing activities, political and community conflicts, and immigration. Conversely, revitalized traditional resource management techniques are applicable among national and regional groups tasked with formulating and implementing conservation and preservation plans. However, issues arise in relation to the viability of the conservation and protection plans and strategies. This can be attributed to the unclear circumstances on whether marine tenure systems are capable of withstanding profound economic, social, and cultural changes within the Pacific region (Joshua 3).
The Customary Marine Tenure form of governance is differently formulated and implemented from the Western society’s governance approaches. It is mainly found in the Pacific regions facilitating accessibility to inshore marine resources. Families, clans, villages, and institutions control social units excluding outsiders from the available space, gears, species, and techniques. Customary Marine Tenure is developed and documented across global marine regions. However, it is more widespread across Pacific regions including Japan, Indonesia, and Australia among other places. The customary ownership rights are legally and formally recognized under Constitutional provisions. The owners are tasked with conserving, protecting, developing, and expanding marine resources for social, economic, and cultural benefits. These attempts, however, have been either futile or difficult due to degrading marine resources across various Pacific nations and regions. The Customary Marine Tenures, governments, individuals, groups, conservative foundations, and countries have been examining measures applicable in preserving and protecting marine resources. In addition, they strive to identify conservative measures that can be combined with modern techniques to achieve improved and enhanced results (Joshua 3).
The resource management techniques are aligned to legal and cultural aspects when laying foundations to develop, protect, conserve, and preserve marine resources under the traditional and modern Customary Marine Tenure techniques. Cultural taboos, such as spatial restrictions and prohibited gears should be avoided. This is because they conflict with cultural and religious doctrines, principles, and beliefs across the Pacific regions. Conversely, Customary Marine Tenure techniques with highly adaptive decentralized authorities should be adopted. This is because they protect, conserve, support, and encourage marine resources to adapt to the rapid social and ecological changes. A centralized bureaucracy is therefore not necessary in limiting the utilization of marine resources. This is because enforced rules and regulations as formulated and implemented by the marine resource owners and controllers are valid, legal, cultural, and viable (Joshua 5).
For a region, community, and country to grow and develop culturally, socially, and economically, the members should be empowered to utilize the marine resources. This approach can further prompt and encourage the members of the community to enforce self-induced measures aimed at preserving and protecting marine resources. Relying on the marine resources for daily needs and wants can encourage members of the community to enforce protective and conservative measures. The majority of the measures that are self-enforced are more likely aligned to fulfilling individual and community needs in relation to cultural, social, religious, and economic benefits retrieved from the marine resources. Thus, conservation groups and Customary Marine Tenures should educate community members and the public on the importance of conserving and protecting marine resources. More importantly, they should educate the members of the community that their efforts should not be directly related to social, economic, and cultural benefits retrieved from the marine resources (Joshua 5).
For Customary Marine Tenure techniques to be incorporated in the pacific regions, they should be managed and controlled under simple and clear policies. The members of the Pacific region should easily understand and relate to the goals and objectives under the Customary Marine Tenure systems. This can also ease the integration process of Customary Marine Tenures into the resource management and development initiatives within Pacific regions. The social, cultural, religious, and economic frameworks should relate to issues affecting the members of the community. They should be applied within the Pacific regions without interfering or violating social, religious, political, and cultural values, doctrines, and principles in the regions. Thus, the Customary Marine Tenures should manage and maintain the marine resources for economic benefits. They should meet and fulfill this mandate respecting and valuing religious, social, and cultural aspects in the region. This can reduce conflicts, increase social capital, sustain the marine resources for dependence from community members, and increase the resources’ variability (Joshua 6).
Common properties are beneficial mainly on social and economic levels. However, they face various dangers, such as the likelihood of being misused and wasted. In addition, they can cause conflicts among the users. This is especially if the members of a community fail to agree on how they should be utilized to benefit everyone equally. Global communities often establish conservative groups tasked with ensuring common properties are protected, conserved, and utilized equally, efficiently, and effectively for social and economic benefits. However, it is common for cultural and religious aspects to interfere with this goal. Thus, such groups ought to undertake their mandates aligned to social, cultural, economic, and religious values, doctrines, and principles. This can encourage the community members to offer their support in conserving and protecting common property from threats of misuse, wastage, and endangerment. The nature and function of common property should therefore play a key role in developing and implementing policies and decisions aimed at preserving, conserving, and protecting it.
Joshua, Cinner. Socioeconomic factors influencing customary marine tenure in the Indo-Pacific, Ecology and Society Journal 10.1(2005):1-14.