Skip to main content

Opportunities and constraints for implementing integrated land–sea management on islands


Despite a growing body of literature on integrated land–sea management (ILSM), very little critical assessment has been conducted in order to evaluate ILSM in practice on island systems. Here we develop indicators for assessing 10 integrated island management principles and evaluate the performance of planning and implementation in four island ILSM projects from the tropical Pacific across different governance structures. We find that where customary governance is still strongly respected and enabled through national legislation, ILSM in practice can be very effective at restricting access and use according to fluctuations in resource availability. However, decision-making under customary governance systems may be vulnerable to mismanagement. Government-led ILSM processes have the potential to design management actions that address the spatial scale of ecosystem processes and threats within the context of national policy and legislation, but may not fully capture broad stakeholder interests, and implementation may be poorly coordinated across highly dispersed island archipelagos. Private sector partnerships offer unique opportunities for resourcing island ILSM, although these are highly likely to be geared towards private sector interests that may change in the future and no longer align with community and/or national objectives. We identify consistent challenges that arise during island ILSM planning and implementation and offer recommendations for improvement.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Dr Stacy D. Jupiter email:
Hide All

Supplementary material can be found online at

Hide All
Adams, V.M., Álvarez-Romero, J.G., Cawardine, J., Cattarino, L., Hermoso, V., Kennard, M.J., Linke, S., Pressey, R.L. & Stoeckl, N. (2014) Planning across freshwater and terrestrial realms: cobenefits and tradeoffs between conservation actions. Conservation Letters 7: 425440.
Afflerbach, J.C., Lester, S.E., Dougherty, D.T. & Poon, S.E. (2014) A global survey of ‘TURF-reserves’, Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries coupled with marine reserves. Global Ecology and Conservation 2: 97106.
Álvarez-Romero, J.G., Pressey, R.L., Ban, N.C., Vance-Borland, K., Willer, C., Klein, C.J. & Gaines, S.D. (2011) Integrated land-sea conservation planning: the missing links. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 42: 381409.
Álvarez-Romero, J.G., Adams, V.M., Pressey, R.L., Douglas, M., Dale, A., Auge, A., Ball, D., Childs, J., Digby, M., Dobbs, R., Gobius, N., Hinchley, D., Lancaster, I., Maughan, M. & Perdrisat, I. (2015) Integrated cross-realm planning: a decision-makers' perspective. Biological Conservation 191: 799808.
Anderson, W.B. & Polis, G.A. (1999) Nutrient fluxes from water to land: seabirds affect plant nutrient status on Gulf of California islands. Oecologia 118: 324332.
Aston, J. (1999) Experiences of coastal management in the Pacific Islands. Ocean & Coastal Management 42: 483501.
Aswani, S. & Ruddle, K. (2013) Design of realistic hybrid marine resource management programs in Oceania. Pacific Science 67: 461476.
Brechin, S.R., Wilshusen, P.R., Fortwangler, C.L. & West, P.W. (2002) Beyond the square wheel: toward a more comprehensive understanding of biodiversity conservation as social and political process. Society and Natural Resources 15: 4164.
Brodie, J.E., Kroon, F.J., Schaffelke, B., Wolanski, E.C., Lewis, S.E., Devlin, M.J., Bohnet, I.C., Bainbridge, Z.T., Waterhouse, J. & Davis, A.M. (2012) Terrestrial pollutant runoff to the Great Barrier Reef: an update of issues, priorities and management responses. Marine Pollution Bulletin 65: 81100.
Christie, P. (2005) Is integrated coastal management sustainable? Ocean & Coastal Management 48: 208232.
Christie, P. & White, A.T. (1997) Trends in the development of coastal area management in tropical countries: from central to community orientation. Coastal Management 25: 155181.
Cicin-Sain, B. & Knecht, R.W. (1998 ) Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management: Concepts and Practices. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Cicin-Sain, B. & Belfiore, S. (2005) Linking marine protected areas to integrated coastal and ocean management: a review of theory and practice. Ocean & Coastal Management 48: 847868.
Clarke, P. & Jupiter, S.D. (2010a) Principles and Practice of Ecosystem Based Management: A Guide for Conservation Practitioners in the Tropical Western Pacific. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society.
Clarke, P. & Jupiter, S.D. (2010b) Law, custom and community-based natural resource management in Kubulau District (Fiji). Environmental Conservation 37: 98106.
Cox, M., Arnold, G. & Villamayor Tomas, S. (2010) A review of design principles for community-based natural resource management. Ecology and Society 15: 38.
Egli, D.P., Tui, T., Jupiter, S.D. & Caginitoba, A. (2010) Perception Surveys of Coastal Resource Use and Changes Following Establishment of a Marine Protected Area Network in Kubulau, Fiji. Technical Report no. 07/10. Suva, Fiji: Wildlife Conservation Society.
Ehler, C.N. (2003) Indicators to measure governance performance in integrated coastal management. Ocean & Coastal Management 46: 335345.
Goldstein, J.H., Caldarone, G., Duarte, T.K., Ennaanay, D., Hannahs, N., Mendoza, G., Polasky, S., Wolny, S. & Daily, G.C. (2012) Integrating ecosystem–service tradeoffs into land-use decisions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109: 75657570.
Govan, H., Aalbersberg, W., Tawake, A. & Parks, J.E. (2008) Locally-managed Marine Areas: A Guide to Supporting Community-based Adaptive Management. Suva, Fiji: Locally-Managed Marine Area (LMMA) Network.
Gresh, T., Lichatowich, J. & Schoonmaker, P. (2000) An estimation of historic and current levels of salmon production in the Northwest Pacific ecosystem: evidence of a nutrient deficit in the freshwater systems of the Pacific northwest. Fisheries 25: 1521.
Griffith, M.D. & Ashe, J. (1993) Sustainable development of coastal and marine areas in small island developing states: a basis for integrated coastal management. Ocean & Coastal Management 21: 269284.
Guerrero, A.M. & Wilson, K.A. (2016) Using a social–ecological framework to inform the implementation of conservation plans. Conservation Biology [www document]. URL
Gurney, G.G., Cinner, J.E., Sartin, J., Pressey, R.L., Ban, N.C., Marshall, N.A. & Prabuning, D. (2016) Participation in devolved commons management: multiscale socioeconomic factors related to individuals’ participation in community-based management of marine protected areas in Indonesia. Environmental Science & Policy 61: 212220.
Hazlitt, S.L., Martin, T.G., Sampson, L. & Arcese, P. (2010) The effects of including marine ecological values in terrestrial reserve planning for a forest-nesting seabird. Biological Conservation 143: 12991303.
Hughes, T.P., Gunderson, L.H., Folke, C., Baird, A.H., Bellwood, D.R., Berkes, F., Crona, B., Helfgott, A., Leslie, H., Norberg, J., Nystrom, M., Olsson, P., Österblom, H., Scheffer, M., Schuttenberg, H., Steneck, R.S., Tengö, M., Troell, M., Walker, B., Wilson, J. & Worm, B. (2007) Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon World Heritage Areas. Ambio 36: 586592.
Hviding, E, (1996) Guardians of Marovo Lagoon: Practice, Place, and Politics in Maritime Melanesia. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.
Hviding, E. & Baines, G.B.K. (1994) Community-based fisheries management, tradition and the challenges of development in Marovo, Solomon Islands. Development and Change 25: 1339.
Hviding, E. & Bayliss Smith, T. (2000) Islands of Rainforest: Agroforestry, Logging and Eco-tourism in Solomon Islands. London, UK: Ashgate.
Jenkins, A.P. & Jupiter, S.D. (2011) Spatial and seasonal patterns in freshwater ichthyofaunal communities of a tropical high island in Fiji. Environmental Biology of Fishes 91: 261274.
Jenkins, A.P. & Jupiter, S.D. (2015) Natural disasters, health and wetlands: a Pacific small island developing state perspective. In: Wetlands and Human Health, eds. Finlayson, C.M., Horwitz, P. & Weinstein, P., pp. 169192. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Jenkins, A.P., Jupiter, S.D., Qauqau, I. & Atherton, J. (2010) The importance of ecosystem-based management for conserving migratory pathways on tropical high islands: a case study from Fiji. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20: 224238.
Jenkins, A.P., Jupiter, S., Mueller, U., Jenney, A., Vosaki, G., Rosa, V., Naucukidi, A., Mulholland, K., Strugnell, R., Kama, M. & Horwitz, P. (2016) Health at the sub-catchment scale: typhoid and its environmental determinants in Central Division, Fiji. EcoHealth 13: 633651.
Johannes, R.E. (2002) The renaissance of community-based marine resource management in Oceania. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33: 317340.
Jupiter, S.D., Tui, T., Shah, S., Cakacaka, A., Moy, W., Naisilisili, W., Dulunaqio, S., Patrick, A., Qauqau, I., Yakub, N. & Caginitoba, A. (2010) Integrating EBM Science to Assess Marine Protected Area Effectiveness: Clues from Coral Proxies of Land Disturbance, Ecological Assessments and Socioeconomic Surveys. Technical Report no. 02/10. Suva, Fiji: Wildlife Conservation Society.
Jupiter, S.D., Jenkins, A.P., Lee Long, W.J., Maxwell, S.L., Carruthers, T.J.B., Hodge, K.B., Govan, H., Tamelander, J. & Watson, J.E.M. (2014a) Principles for integrated island management in the tropical Pacific. Pacific Conservation Biology 20: 193205.
Jupiter, S.D., Cohen, P.J., Weeks, R., Tawake, A. & Govan, H. (2014b) Locally-managed marine areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies. Pacific Conservation Biology 20: 165179.
Kearney, J., Berkes, F., Charles, A., Pinkerton, E. & Wiber, M. (2007) The role of participatory governance of community-based management in integrated coastal and ocean management in Canada. Coastal Management 35: 79104.
Lane, M.B. (2008) Strategic coastal governance issues in Fiji: the challenges of integration. Marine Policy 32: 856866.
MacArthur, R.H. & Wilson, E.O. (1967) The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
MacDonald, K.I. (2010) The devil is in the (bio)diversity: private sector ‘engagement’ and the restructuring of biodiversity conservation. Antipode 42: 513550.
Maron, M., Ives, C.D., Kujala, H., Bull, J.W., Maseyk, F.J.F., Bekessy, S., Gordon, A., Watson, J.E.M., Lentini, P.E., Gibbons, P., Possingham, H.P., Hobbs, R.J., Keith, D.A., Wintle, B.A. & Evans, M.C. (2016) Taming a wicked problem: resolving controversies in biodiversity offsetting. Bioscience 66: 489498.
Mills, M., Álvarez-Romero, J. G., Vance-Borland, K., Cohen, P., Pressey, R. L., Guerrero, A. M. & Ernstson, H. (2014) Linking regional planning and local action: towards using social network analysis in systematic conservation planning. Biological Conservation 169: 613.
Olsen, S.B., Tobey, J. & Hale, L.Z. (1998) A learning-based approach to coastal management. Ambio 27: 611619.
Ostrom, E. (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Polis, G.A. & Hurd, S.D. (1996) Linking marine and terrestrial food webs: allochthonous input from the ocean supports high secondary productivity on small islands and coastal land communities. The American Naturalist 147: 396423.
Polis, G.A., Anderson, W.B. & Holt, R.D. (1997) Toward an integration of landscape and food web ecology: the dynamics of spatially subsidized food webs. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 28: 289316.
Pollnac, R.B. & Pomeroy, R.S. (2005) Factors influencing the sustainability of integrated coastal management projects in the Philippines and Indonesia. Ocean & Coastal Management 48: 233251.
Ragosta, G., Evensen, C., Atwill, E.R., Walker, M., Ticktin, T., Asquith, A. & Tate, K.W. (2011) Risk factors for elevated enterococcus concentrations in a rural tropical island watershed. Journal of Environmental Management 92: 19101915.
Reuter, K.E., Juhn, D. & Grantham, H.S. (2016) Integrated land–sea management: recommendations for planning, implementation and management. Environmental Conservation 43: 181198.
Risvoll, C., Fedreheim, G.E., Sandberg, A. & BurnSilver, S. (2014) Does pastoralists’ participation in the management of national parks in Northern Norway contribute to adaptive governance? Ecology and Society 19: 71.
Ruddle, K., Hviding, E. & Johannes, R.E. (1992) Marine resource management in the context of customary tenure. Marine Resource Economics 7: 249273.
Tulloch, V.J.D., Brown, C.J., Possingham, H.P., Jupiter, S.D., Maina, J. & Klein, C. (2016) Improving conservation outcomes for coral reefs affected by future oil palm development in Papua New Guinea. Biological Conservation 203: 4354.
Vukikomoala, K., Jupiter, S., Erasito, E. & Chand, K. (2012) An Analysis of International Law, National Legislation, Judgements, and Institutions as they Interrelate with Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. Report no. 19 Fiji. Bangalore and Delhi, India: Natural Justice and Kalpavriksh.
WCS (2012) Ecosystem-Based Management Plan: Kubulau District, Vanua Levu, Fiji. Suva: Wildlife Conservation Society [www document]. URL
Weeks, R. & Jupiter, S.D. (2013) Adaptive comanagement of a marine protected area network in Fiji. Conservation Biology 27: 12341244.
White, A.T., Christie, P., D'Agnes, H., Lowry, K. & Milne, N. (2005) Designing ICM projects for sustainability: lessons from the Philippines and Indonesia. Ocean & Coastal Management 48: 271296.
White, A., Deguit, E., Jatulan, W. & Eisma-Osorio, L. (2006) Integrated coastal management in Philippine local governance: evolution and benefits. Coastal Management 34: 287302.
World Bank (1999) Voices from the Village: A Comparative Study of Coastal Resource Management in the Pacific Islands. Pacific Islands Discussion Paper Series No. 9. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Jupiter supplementary material
Table S1

 Word (26 KB)
26 KB
Supplementary materials

Jupiter supplementary material
Table S4

 Word (19 KB)
19 KB


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 14
Total number of PDF views: 150 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1514 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 13th March 2017 - 15th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.