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    Hassan Ali', Mohammed Kaed Belluscio, Andrea Ventura, Daniele and Ardizzone, Giandomenico 2016. Feeding ecology of some fish species occurring in artisanal fishery of Socotra Island (Yemen). Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 105, Issue. 2, p. 613.

    Zajonz, Uwe Lavergne, Edouard Klaus, Rebecca Krupp, Friedhelm Aideed, Moteah Sheikh and Saeed, Fouad Naseeb 2016. The coastal fishes and fisheries of the Socotra Archipelago, Yemen. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 105, Issue. 2, p. 660.

    Hubálková, Irena Maděra, Petr and Volařík, Daniel 2015. Growth dynamics of Dracaena cinnabari under controlled conditions as the most effective way to protect endangered species. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences,

    Attorre, F. Issa, A. Malatesta, L. Adeeb, A. De Sanctis, M. Vitale, M. and Farcomeni, A. 2014. Analysing the relationship between land units and plant communities: The case of Socotra Island (Yemen). Plant Biosystems - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, Vol. 148, Issue. 3, p. 529.

    Schlecht, Eva Zaballos, Luis G.H. Quiroz, Diana Scholte, Paul and Buerkert, Andreas 2014. Traditional land use and reconsideration of environmental zoning in the Hawf Protected Area, south-eastern Yemen. Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 109, p. 92.

    Senan, Ali S. Tomasetto, Federico Farcomeni, Alessio Somashekar, Rayasamuda K. and Attorre, Fabio 2012. Determinants of plant species invasions in an arid island: evidence from Socotra Island (Yemen). Plant Ecology, Vol. 213, Issue. 9, p. 1381.


When conservation precedes development: a case study of the opening up of the Socotra archipelago, Yemen

  • Paul Scholte (a1), Abdulraqueb Al-Okaishi (a1) and Ahmed Saed Suleyman (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 02 August 2011

The Socotra archipelago, Yemen, in the north-west Indian Ocean, has outstanding endemic biodiversity, and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008. Although inhabited for 6 millennia Socotra only began to open up to the outside world in 1990. With conservation interventions starting prior to major developments, and building on centuries-old low-intensity resource management, Socotra has been in a unique position to practice pre-emptive conservation. In 1997 modern conservation started with biodiversity and socio-economic surveys, with inputs from communities and decision makers, which fed into the Conservation Zoning Plan. Approved in 2000, this has been the archipelago’s principal conservation planning and management tool. Regulations and bans on fishing practices, the collection of coral stones and export of biological materials have all been relatively well complied with by local communities and authorities. Inappropriate road construction, however, driven by non-islanders, has demonstrated the limits of the Conservation Zoning Plan, highlighting significant institutional challenges in planning and coordination. The capacity of the Socotra-based conservation institution has increased dramatically over the last decade. Its personnel are generally respected, largely because their roles include assisting local communities with development initiatives, underlining the importance of integrating conservation and development at the onset of conservation. Although the integrity of the landscape will inevitably decline, especially along the northern coastline, Socotri conservationists, backed by international support, are in a unique position to shape the archipelago’s future.

Corresponding author
Socotra Conservation and Development Programme, Socotra, Yemen. E-mail
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