Clifton, J. 2013. Refocusing conservation through a cultural lens: Improving governance in the Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia. Marine Policy 41; 80-86
Abstract:The Wakatobi National Park in eastern Indonesia offers valuable insights into the effectiveness of governance incentives in a national context characterised by uncoordinated policies and evolving conflicts over power and authority within government. Economic incentives resulting from strategic alliances between the public and private sector have been targeted towards enhanced regulation of fisheries and supporting tourism interests. However, the absence of coherent policies relating to tourism, which partly reflects contests over jurisdiction between national and local levels of government, opens up considerable potential for inappropriate forms of development. Furthermore, any incentives designed to facilitate governance should explicitly recognise the status of the Bajau, who constitute a key stakeholder group yet have been consistently marginalised through both state and NGO initiatives. The possible outcomes of ongoing decentralisation, which include enhanced government accountability, flexibility in developing regulations relating to marine resource use and greater participation of minority groups in decision-making, offer some prospect for improved governance of the Wakatobi and other marine protected areas in Indonesia.