Delineating expert mangrove stakeholder perceptions and attitudes towards mangrove management in Sri Lanka using Q methodology

Thanne Walawwe Gedera Fathima Mafaziya Nijamdeen, Hajaniaina A. Ratsimbazafy, Sunanda Kodikara Kodikara Arachchilage, T. W. G. F. Ashara Nijamdeen, Thahira Thajudeen, Sofia Peruzzo, Maheshwaran Envernathan Govender, Farid Dahdouh Guebas, Jean Hugé

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Effective decision-making is key to the successful conservation and management of natural resources. Mangrove ecosystems all over the world provide an array of ecosystem goods and services and are managed by a wide range of stakeholders representing various sectors. The position of mangroves in the land-sea interface and the rapid development of coastal areas in the Global South make mangrove conservation and management more challenging than the management of other coastal ecosystems. Sri Lankan mangroves are degrading due to numerous
natural and anthropogenic causes in recent years. Mangrove degradation in Sri Lanka is further exacerbated by the economic crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic. The coastal communities near mangroves in Sri Lanka heavily depend on mangrove goods and services (more than before, due to a lack of livelihood alternatives), despite formal “no entry” rules by the government. This study’s objectives are to delineate the viewpoints of mangrove management experts to understand current mangrove management in Sri Lanka and to provide baseline data for effective decision-making. We used Q methodology, during which 71 mangrove experts representing 21 stakeholder groups were asked to individually rank statements regarding mangrove management. These rankings were subsequently clustered using Principal Component Analysis, allowing the identification of clusters of opinions regarding mangrove management. Stakeholder’s perceptions were clustered into three discourses: community-oriented management, government-oriented management, and management in synergy between government and communities for effective mangrove conservation. Our findings emphasize the multifaceted nature of mangrove management in Sri Lanka, revealing diverse perspectives among stakeholders.
Our results further highlight the need for a collaborative approach to the co-management of mangroves in SriLanka. We recommend that mangroves be co-managed by the government and local communities ensuring environmental sustainability in Sri Lanka and beyond.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftEnvironmental Science and Policy
Nummer van het tijdschrift103632
StatusPublished - jan 2024

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© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


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