A new report released by Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) titled, “Human well-being and the perceptions of stakeholders of 13 states in the Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN)” is now available to the public. This is the first nation-wide socioeconomic study in the 13 registered states under Palau’s PAN sites. The main objective of this study was to gather important and relevant information from the community and present it to stakeholders and managers in conservation, for more effective and efficient management of resources. A structured household questionnaire was administered across these 13 states, with a total of 1,234 households surveyed since 2015.

With a better understanding of how stakeholders and resource users view their conservation areas, managers are better able to tailor activities and make decisions that will maximize benefits experienced by all stakeholders. Assuming that fishers are the direct users of marine resources, fishers’ perceptions were explored in terms of (1) community engagement and participation; (2) perceptions of impacts and benefits deriving from conservation areas; and (3) support for conservation initiatives. Overall, it was found that most community members participate in outreach activities, but less so in resource management decision-making processes. Results of this study found that stakeholder perceptions of impacts (fish abundance and size) were neutral, while their views on benefits (livelihood, economic, environmental) were more positive.

Significant recommendations for effective resource management are included in this report. A copy of the full report is now available on PICRC website (http://picrc.org/picrcpage/technicalreports/) for anyone who wishes to get a copy.

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