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Sustainable financing of a national Marine Protected Area network in Fiji
- Ison, Sierra, Hills, Jeremy, Morris, Cherie, Stead, Selina M.
- Ocean & coastal management 2018
- United Nations, fisheries, food security, funding, governance, income, interviews, marine protected areas, marine resources, markets, models, stakeholders, sustainable development, willingness to pay, Fiji
- Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are mostly studied from an environmental context. A review of available information identified a lack of knowledge in sustainable mechanisms to finance MPA networks. At the United Nations Ocean Conference in 2017, Fiji reaffirmed its voluntary commitment to make 30% of its inshore and offshore marine area MPAs by 2020 under Sustainable Development Goal 14. The work presented here uses empirical data to explore potential benefits from selected community-based MPAs to recipient local stakeholders. A Willingness to Pay (WTP) and Willingness to Contribute Time (WtCT) method was used to explore the extent to which bottom-up governance systems represent a potential financing mechanism of a MPA network. Results of 115 interviews concluded that proximity to a fishing market, dependence on marine resources, food security, income and international commitments were significant variables influencing stakeholder's WTP and WtCT to manage a MPA. We argue that there is a discrepancy between WtCT and WTP driven by income constraints. Thus, by using WTP and WtCT to support financing of a MPA network, a Provincial Trust Fund (PTF) could promote an equitable and benefits-based contribution. Equally important, a PTF has a polycentric and decentralized governance model, which endorses sustainable management of traditional fishing communities. The conclusions provide insight into a bottom-up approach for long-term financial sustainability of Fiji's national MPA commitments.