Toggle Nav

The Social Impacts of Marine Protected Areas

Bird's Head Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

As part of WWF’s innovative project to study the social impacts of marine protected areas (MPAs), a team of Papua State University students and alumni spent three years traveling to coastal communities to conduct approximately 2,400 household surveys both inside and outside MPAs.

  • Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    HOUSEHOLD LIVES

    The team collected information on people’s food security, occupation, health and school enrollment.

  • House in Bird's Head Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    COASTAL LIVING

    All of the 102 communities visited in this seascape are highly dependent on marine resources.

  • Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    FISH = LIFE

    Three quarters of study households support themselves at least partially through fishing; fish forms the main source of dietary protein for an equal number.

  • Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    MAKING ENDS MEET

    Securing and providing sufficient food is an ongoing concern. Thirteen percent of households reported a lack of access to safe and nutritious food.

  • Baskets in Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    DIFFERENT TRADES

    For some, livelihoods such as selling handicrafts (like these seagrass baskets) offer alternative or supplemental income.

  • Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    CONTROL GROUP

    In a concerted effort to understand the impact of MPAs, team members also interviewed statistically similar households who live outside of an MPA.

  • Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    POLICY IN PLAY

    Results from this work will be shared both with the interviewed communities and broadly, to inform better management of MPAs and refine plans for the future.

  • Bird's Hair Seascape, West Papua, Indonesia

    PART OF THE PLAN

    By linking action to impact, the data will help support well-designed, well-managed MPAs to benefit both marine biodiversity and human lives.

Explore More

About
World Wildlife magazine provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the connections between animals, people and our planet. Published quarterly by WWF, the magazine helps make you a part of our efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world.

View all issues

xShare Your Thoughts!

Just 10 minutes of your time can help improve our site! Answer a few quick questions and you can help us make worldwildlife.org better.

Start SurveyClose this box