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BACKGROUND

A workshop titled “Social Dimensions of Marine Protected Area Implementation in India: Do Fishing Communities Benefit?” was organized by the Internation Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) in Chennai, India, in January 2009. The workshop was mainly meant to discuss the findings of case studies and other experiences of marine protected area (MPA) implementation in India, from a fishing-community perspective. Discussions at the workshop explored the extent to which fishing communities are part of MPA governance, and their perceptions about the costs and benefits of MPA practice. Noting that various legal and institutional issues are hampering implementation of biodiversity conservation and resource management, with consequences for the livelihoods of fishing communities in MPA areas, the workshop highlighted the need to integrate fundamental principles of participation, environmental justice and human rights into the implementation of marine and coastal protected areas. It also called for fishing communities to be considered as allies, and for community-led initiatives for management and conservation of resources to be recognized and supported.

This workshop, also from a fishing-community perspective, was organized as a follow-up to the 2009 workshop,...