DECENTRALISED MARINE MANAGEMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES Does decentralisation create a framework for successful sustainable marine management?
Abstract: Decentralised management has become more popular during the last decades. Although, its effect in developing countries have been uneven and scientists argue that weak institutional capacity causes ineffective local authorities.The United Nations’ 14th Sustainable Development Goal states that careful ocean management is essential for a sustainable future and developing of marine protected areas (MPAs). Marine resources tend to move beyond municipal borders, which creates an issue for decentralised management within municipalities. Therefore, this study intends to investigate whether marine management is successful within the criteria of decentralisation.This study was conducted as a case study on Cebu island in the Philippines, using a qualitative research method. The empirical result was gathered through interviews with different actors all related to the issue in question. The actors were chosen on the basis of them having different backgrounds, perspectives, and area of expertise in the hope of it reflecting the reality.The result shows that the municipalities do not fulfil all the criteria for decentralisation, and that management of marine resources is a challenge for various reasons. The respondents have different approaches to the issue and the importance of sustainable marine management.Clearer guidelines and support from national government and a change in prioritisation would help the development of a sustainable marine management.
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