Stakeholders’ perceptions of the impacts of tourism on the social and ecological resilience of marine protected areas in Bali, Indonesia
Pedju, Fahri Mirza Kurniawan
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This thesis focuses on stakeholders’ perceptions with respect to the impact of marine protected area (MPA) tourism on social ecological system resilience in Bali, Indonesia. It utilises a multi case studies approach and adapts the Resilience Assessment Framework (RAF) to examine three MPAs that have different types of governance systems. The research employed mixed methods to carry out the assessment, combining structured interviews, semi–structured in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions. The research participants consisted primarily of fishers, but also included other important stakeholders such as government officials, non-governmental organisation (NGO) support workers, and tourism and/or dive operators who had been operating on sites within the MPAs for more than 10 years. Research participants provided their perceptions of marine ecosystem health, MPAs, MPA tourism, and their expectations for the future in the context of livelihood for themselves and their families. The use of mixed methods allowed the researcher to compare participants’ responses to the structured interviews with data obtained through semi–structured in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Key findings suggest that the majority of the participants perceived that there was declining health of their local marine ecosystem, at least from a fishery productivity perspective. Findings also suggest that the presence of MPAs and tourism in the MPAs have created both opportunities and conflicts for the fisheries sector. Present generation fishers perceived there are limited or few opportunities for them to transition from fishing and switch to tourism as their main livelihood. However, fishers had low expectations regarding their children’s ability to support themselves through fishing and had low confidence in the ability of marine resources to provide a decent livelihood in the future. This research is the first to focus specifically on the perceptions of stakeholders on the effectiveness of MPAs, marine ecosystem health and marine tourism in the Indonesian context. The outcome of this research proposes an enhanced framework of resilience assessment for MPA tourism which emphasises a transdisciplinary integration of conservation and sustainable use approaches.