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The Soufriere Marine Management Association

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1 The Soufriere Marine Management Association
* 07/16/96 The Soufriere Marine Management Association Saint Lucia Phone: (758) Fax: (758) *

2 Overview Background The Creation of a Management Agreement/Area
Institutional Review The new SMMA First Successes Constraints Lessons learned

3 St. Lucia about 157,775 inhabitants (2001)
Between 60° and 61° West Longitude and 13 ° and 14 ° North Latitude 238 square miles approx. 1,300 miles southeast of Florida 21 miles to Martinique 24 miles north of St. Vincent SMMA

4 Soufrière established 1746 approx. 7665 inhabitants (2001)
relatively isolated for much of this century until late 1970s large scale producer of cocoa, citrus, bananas, coconuts and ground provisions fragile economy high unemployment rate Tourism favorite destination of: yachters, scuba divers and day trippers range of attractions in vicinity of town: volcanic cones, waterfalls, tropical forrests, solfaratas, sheltered bays and coral reefs

5 Soufrière Fishing Industry particular dependent on coastal resources
furthest away from the migratory routes of valuable ocean species such as tuna, dolphin and kingfish relies heavily on transient schools of coastal pelagics: balahoo, jacks and sardines December to July: trawling for pelagic species rest of the year: reef fishing with bottom set gears such as fish traps (“pots”) and gill-nets (gill nets were banned in the SMMA in September 1998)

6 Background Conflicts Degradation of resource base
increasing competition between recreational users and fishermen over access to resources most acute conflicts between divers and pot fishermen and between seine fishermen and yachts anchoring in seine fishing areas Degradation of resource base result of over-exploitation of the reefs: a) over fishing b) improper fishing practices c) destruction of reef from anchoring d) land based sources of marine pollution

7 The Creation of a Management Agreement
Participatory Planning and Negotiation Process need for change from open access situation to system of managed use to ensure sustainability and compatibility of various activities meeting of key agencies involved in national initiative for system for Protected Areas in mid 1992: recommending consultative process to resolve situation support of proposal for demarcating the 1984 established MRs and FPAs by USAID funded ENCORE project

8 The Creation of a Management Agreement
formation of small committee involving SRDF, DOF and CANARI to devise new dynamic approach to undertake a consultative process aimed at generating agreement between all users and relevant management agencies on measures to resolve existing conflicts identification of stakeholders and relevant participants: a) yachters, b) divers, c) fishermen, d) planners, e) tourism entrepreneurs, f) port authority, g) fisheries and h) tourism officials nomination of representatives of stakeholders

9 The Creation of a Management Agreement
initial meetings Oct. 27th, and Nov. 3rd, 1992, starting with a “clean slate” (pre-existing arrangements such as MRs and FPAs subject for review) Generation of map reflecting uses, conflicts and condition of resources along 11 km coastal stretch between Anse Jambon and Anse L’Ivrogne field reviews by boat drawing of maps elaboration of key issues: control and developing of yachting location and management of MRs development and management of fishing activities recreational access to beaches for locals and pollution concerns

10 The Creation of a Management Agreement
set up of working groups to address each issue recommendations already reflected an initial degree of compromise between the many stakeholders 3rd day of consultation was set for early 1993, leaving several months to compile and circulate a draft document reflecting agreements draft document contained background information and also outlined a “proposed” marine management area with rules and regulations as agreed by the participants of the consultation multi-agency management authority as mechanism for overseeing implementation of management area being suggested

11 The Creation of a Management Agreement
Authority to comprise representatives from all key user groups, management authorities and relevant NGOs Recommendation of user fees for the use of MRs by divers and use of mooring buoys set up for yachts and dive boats March 4th, 1993 review of draft recommendations on zoning, user fees, rules and regulations Final document entitled “Agreement on the Use and Management of the Marine and Coastal Resources in the Soufriere Region, St. Lucia”

12 Zoning and Management Agreement
area was called Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) to be managed by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprising key management authorities and user groups. In late 1993 the agreement was presented to the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Tourism, who tabled it before the Cabinet of Ministers in February 1994 and approval for the declaration and demarcation of the proposed zones, user fees, and declaration of Soufriere as a Port of Call for pleasure craft was granted on March 14th, 1994

13 The Creation of the Management Area
Implementation Process TAC created Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising the SMMA Manager, DOF, CANARI with other technical experts co-opted as necessary to provide impetus for the implementation of the agreement: a) generating workplans, b) budgetary information for approval by the TAC, and c) evaluating the implementation process descriptive assessment of the entire SMMA up to a depth of 70 feet by the DOF to exercise the exact limits for delimitation of the MRs and FPAs

14 The Creation of the Management Area
Management Plan a workshop to generate the management plan for the SMMA was held on September 3rd, TAC members, local experts, regional experts and funding agencies were present the cabinet of Ministers approved the Management Plan of the SMMA on November 15th, 1995

15 The Creation of the Management Area
Funding USAID ENCORE provided funding for demarcation of MRs and FPAs French Mission for Cooperation provided funds for moorings, a patrol boat, communication equipment, equipment for the SMMA office, and salaries for the manager and wardens for 3 months, services of a national service volunteer for 16 months. In October 1996 the FFEM project for the institutional strengthening of the SMMA started, administered by a French Technical Assistant Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA) contributed to marine resource monitoring and public awareness literature all three agencies and local government contributed to SMMA brochure, moorings flyer, and video

16 The Creation of the Management Area
Infrastructure 42 mooring buoys and 22 demarcation buoys were installed by John & Judy Halas from EMI in 1994 signs were installed in February 1995 and reinstalled in March 1997 and 1999 due to severe storm damage the Management Area was published and a color brochure and an insert detailing the mooring buoy system was printed in early 1995 (updated and reprinted in 1998 and 2002) Acquisition of own mooring installation equipment in 1996 Conducted several local and regional buoy installation projects Presently 66 moorings and 13 demarcation buoys Office was constructed under FFEM project, but destroyed by hurricane Lenny in November 1999

17 The Creation of the Management Area
Launching of SMMA official opening on July 1st, 1995 event highlighted objectives and operations within the SMMA employment of 4 rangers to support French volunteer, who operated as initial manager training of SMMA officers by relevant management authorities SMMA manager was hired in August 1995 additional support staff (administrative assistant, accountant and PRO) was hired upon stabilization of revenue generation


19 Institutional Review Crises in 1996 and 1997, exacerbated by economic and political changes, lead to an institutional review Process of questioning, evaluation and reorganization facilitated by CANARI and funded through the FFEM project Structural problems: Initial process failed to develop a clear consensus of vision, mission and objectives Agreement was not a binding contract TAC too large and dispersed to be an effective decision making body New agreement to be guided by: clear mission transparent management structure politically, institutionally and financially autonomous management and enforcement to be locally based

20 The New SMMA Lessons learned from review: Features of the new SMMA
Arrangements such as the SMMA require a formal sharing of responsibilities Review revealed tendency that the more powerful and organized groups and sectors assume their authority while the most marginalized groups do not SMMA therefore needed a clear and strong legal basis to guaranty the rights and stipulate the responsibilities of all Features of the new SMMA The Soufriere Marine Management Area remains the portion of coast between Anse l’Ivrogne in the south and Anse Jambon in the north, from the shore to a depth of 75 meters SMMA declared as a local Fisheries Management Authority under the 1984 Fisheries Act Management of the area is now governed by a new agreement defining vision, mission, objectives, regulations, zoning, programs and institutional arrangements of the SMMA zoning and regulations were maintained, and a detailed map identifying all zones forms part of the new agreement

21 The New SMMA Features of the new SMMA (continued)
The coordination of management is the responsibility of the Soufriere Marine Management Association, a not-for-profit company under the Companies Act (No. 2003/079) The Association comprises all agencies which have a demonstrated management functioning the Area five community and non governmental members: St. Lucia Dive Association St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Soufriere Fishermen’s Co-operative Soufriere Regional development Foundation Soufriere water taxi association Five government agencies: Ministry of Planning, Fisheries and Tourism National Conservation Authority Air and Sea Ports Authority One or two individuals nominated by the District Representative and the Cabinet of Ministers Establishment of a Stakeholder Advisory Committee: Broad based advisory body, providing a forum for all stakeholders to express their needs, views and concerns, meeting at least once a quarter

22 * 07/16/96 The New SMMA The mission of the Soufriere Marine Management Area is to contribute to national and local development, particularly in the fisheries and tourism sectors, through the management of the coastal zone of Soufriere, based on the principles of sustainable use, cooperation among resource users, institutional collaboration, active and enlightened local participation, and equitable sharing of benefits and responsibilities among stakeholders. *

23 First Successes A 6-year study, conducted by the University of York, revealed that since inception of the SMMA, fish stocks in the marine reserves have tripled and doubled in the fishing areas. The attitude of many local fishermen has changed from skepticism and rejection of the zoning system in 1995, to full support in 2001. Though major fishing areas were closed, fish catches increased over the years. Influenced by the concern of local fishermen over diver impact on the coral reefs, an important fish nursery within the SMMA at Gros Piton Point was declared a sanctuary and closed for all activities except approved scientific research. In 1997 the SMMA received the British Airways “Tourism for Tomorrow - IUCN Special Award for National Parks and Protected Areas”, 2000 ICRAN declared the SMMA a “Demonstration Site”, based on its proven ability to effectively manage coral reefs.

24 Constraints Though involved community members and organizations on a local, regional and international level closely follow the development of the SMMA, visitors and St. Lucians generally are not aware of and do not appreciate the uniqueness of the institution, which constantly leads to infringements of regulations by unaware visitors and locals from outside the immediate Soufriere community. Given the myriad uses and users of the area, successful management of Soufriere’s marine and coastal resources hinges to a great extend on the compliance and support of all groups. Harmful and destructive practices by any one group compromise the integrity of the areas and of the very agreement, which led to its establishment.

25 Lessons learned Institutional Strengthening
SMMA has proven  workable as long as the principles of participatory planning were followed. Political circumstances threatening the survival of the institution could be dealt with because of the strong commitment among the various stakeholders.  Since the existence of the SMMA was originally only based on a series of Cabinet conclusions, the institution was very vulnerable to outside interference, Initially the SMMA was also designed too much around certain leadership personalities and thus failed to clearly define the management responsibilities of the relevant institutions, which resulted in a "responsibility vacuum". The high level of transparency and a focused agenda is believed to be the reason that most of the stakeholder meetings are very well attended The creation of a number of subcommittees to ease the workload of the SMMA staff has proven unworkable, because of their complexity which makes it difficult to convene regular meetings.

26 Lessons learned Conflict Management
Key to the SMMA’s success in managing conflicts on an on-going basis is the very close contact which exists among user groups, and between them and SMMA management The SMMA plays the role of a facilitating link between the user groups, not an enforcement agency. For of a variety of reasons, it sometimes becomes necessary for the SMMA to assist one group in formalizing or vocalizing its concerns, but it is essential for the SMMA to remain fair, and perceived as fair. The SMMA has shown that two essential conditions for conflict management are: Direct participation of resource users, because community institutions do not always provide adequate representation and because stakes/interests often vary from individual to individual. Direct communication among stakeholder groups, for example, by allowing fishers to directly address conflicting interests to others, such as divers, or yachts people.

27 Lessons learned Communication and Public Sensitization
Although considerable progress has been made (e.g. balancing between enforcement of rules and regulations and public relations, establishment of newsletter, internet web-site, etc.), effective communication between stakeholders, community groups and other involved parties remains critical. Therefore it is essential that the enforcement staff continues the sensitization efforts for the user groups. The implementation of the communications plan remains a high priority.

28 Lessons learned Involvement/Support of self-regulating User Groups/Institutions Further support needs to be given to strengthen local, self regulating institutions namely the Fishermen's Cooperative, St. Lucia's dive association Anbaglo and the Water Taxi Association, the latter being particularly dependent on better recognition by government authorities. The role of true representation of their sectors can not always be fulfilled.

29 Protecting the Future... one step at a time.

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