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American Samoa's Marine Protected Area System: Institutions, Governance, and Scale

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  • Source:
    Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 19(4)
Filetype[PDF-588.86 KB]

  • Description:
    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a primary marine conservation strategy in the U.S. territory of American Samoa, which has a goal to protect 20% of its coral reef area under “no-take” MPAs. The territory implements MPAs by using diverse governance approaches involving a range of institutions operating at different scales and including federal, territorial, and local village entities. This innovative approach to management takes advantage of the territory’s traditional marine tenure system while drawing upon resources available from the U.S. federal government. Since 2000, total MPA coverage in American Samoa has expanded to encompass approximately 25% of coral reef area in the territory, with nearly 7% of reefs in no-take reserves. This represents a level of resource protection and inter-institutional collaboration that is unusual in the Pacific, and indeed worldwide.
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    Accepted Manuscript
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