Image credit: Dr Marco J Haenssgen
Led by Dr Marco J Haenssgen (Assistant Professor in GSD) with a team of authors from the School for Cross-faculty Studies including Dr Jess Savage
(Senior Teaching Fellow in GSD) and Dr Godwin Yeboah
(Senior Research Fellow in IGSD
), the first paper from Dr Jess Savage’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project on “Protected Areas and People
” has been published in the leading international development journal World Development
The paper presents ground-breaking mixed-method research that combines a qualitative case study of the Cambodian Koh Sdach Archipelago with a cross-country statistical analysis of the impacts of marine protection on affected and adjacent communities. Guided by an innovative conceptual framework that situates marine conservation at the interface between communities, the state, and natural space, the authors demonstrate on the micro level how local communities experience improving relationships with the state and a slowing deterioration of marine resources, but also social division, heightened livelihood anxiety, and potentially a false sense of economic security. On the macro level, the authors document decreasing wealth and increasing child mortality among communities across Southeast Asia who are subjected to marine protection schemes.
“The importance of ecological impacts of marine conservation is beyond dispute, but we also need to ensure that such interventions are socially sustainable.
“What makes our study special in this respect is our use of cutting-edge social research approaches, both conceptual and methodological, which help unravel the social dimensions of marine protection on the micro and macro levels.”
Dr Marco J Haenssgen