Karimun Jawa-new zoning system

The re-zoning of Karimunjawa Marine National Park was finalised under national legislation in August 2006 by a Decree of the Director General of PHKA, No. SK. 79/IV/Set-3/2005. Following a process that ranked sites according to ecological (eg. habitat diversity, replication and representation), socioeconomic (eg. fishing impact, community management, community perceptions) and governance criteria (zoning requirements, local government rules) criteria, a recommended series of replicate zones across the marine national park went through an exhaustive stakeholder consultation process over 18 months. Numerous draft revisions of the zoning plan were produced until the final draft was recommend with government and community support. It is clear that the process in Karimunjawa was influenced by the perceptions of local fishers who for the most part were not willing to accept large no-take areas as a tool for fisheries management as availability to fish as source of protein is seen as an issue of equity above all else.

For Karimunjawa village stakeholder meetings were critical to the process of choosing sites from a range of options for this marine protected area (~1100 km2). Choices of where to site no take zones were reached through discussion of scientific data, stakeholder knowledge of marine resources, use and community needs and perceptions at the village scale attempted to allow stakeholders to have direct input into the planning process and design a consensus based network of MPAs that accounted for multiple species, habitats, oceanographic factors, resource uses.

The general achievement of about 15% of no take zones throughout the park, in theory should protect mid- and large-size commercial fishes from over- exploitation, but as with many areas in Indonesia these MPAs have not been fully enforced. The initial focus of national park management has been to enforce the prohibition of illegal fishing practices rather than all fishing within no take zones, and promote sustainable multiple uses (eg. seaweed farming, tourism, fishing), rather than enforce compliance within all permanent area closures. The adaptive management procedures allowed for by the Karimunjawa National Park Authority may result in changes in the zoned regulations in response to their success or failure after 5 years of evaluation, and responses of other management agencies and stakeholders. In the end it will be socially flexible and acceptable management interventions, meaningful community participation in management and stronger governance at local levels that will protect fisheries and coral reefs of Karimunjawa rather than any strict adherence to zoning plans.