Co-governing Marine Conservation Tourism in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat archipelago, located at the west tip of West Papua province, eastern Indonesia, is considered the heart of the coral triangle due to is richness in marine biodiversity. There are threats to the marine ecosystem, such as illegal and destructive fishing, but the area still holds relatively healthy coral reefs with growing conservation importance.

The decentralization policy of the Indonesian state have led to the establishment of Raja Ampat regency and has resulted in the increasing need for economic development to improve local livelihood.  Marine tourism is seen as a potential key economic sector as well as a source of funding for conservation.  Various non-state actors, including two big international NGOs, have been involved in the development of an MPA network and marine tourism since the emergence of Raja Ampat Regency.  In this project the governance arrangements for marine are studied In the context of decentralization, in an attempt to develop marine tourism, contribute to the improvement of local  livelihood and conserve marine ecosystems in the area.