Co-management in the Negril Marine Park, Jamaica

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Currie, David
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University of Guelph

This thesis explores the co-management process that has evolved around the Negril Marine Park in Jamaica. The Park's establishment was triggered by evidence of damage to marine ecosystems that stemmed from Negril's rapid transformation from bucolic fishing village to Jamaica's third largest tourist destination. Co-management has recently been adopted in Jamaica as a management strategy but is in an emergent phase and remains to be tested for its applicability in Negril. This research asked what can the process in Negril tell us about the factors that contribute to the success or failure of co-management in Jamaica? The research findings illustrate that the agency of a historically powerful central government and a politically and economically potent tourism industry have appropriated Negril's development agenda, creating relationships at the local level distorted by power asymmetries. Analysis of the findings underscore the need for a genuine devolution of decision-making responsibility to local co-management agencies, continued commitment from the State and international community for building financial and technical capacity and meaningful participation from local users.

co-management process, Negril Marine Park, Jamaica, management strategy, decision-making responsibility