FAQs and Resources

What is a LMMA?
Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) are areas of ocean managed by coastal communities to help protect fisheries and safeguard marine biodiversity. Found throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical seas, and encompassing diverse approaches to governance, their sizes and contexts vary widely, but all share the common theme of placing local communities at the heart of management.

In countries such as Fiji and Madagascar, LMMAs have proven to be a cost-effective, scalable and socially acceptable solution to the challenge of managing marine resources. They have also shown promise as a means to improve food security, combat poverty and help coastal communities to adapt to climate change. 

How are LMMAs governed?
LMMAs use of a variety of legal structures to manage natural resources at a local level in Madagascar: the establishment of local customary laws (known as dina), community managed marine protected areas (IUCN categories V or VI, under Madagascar’s protected area system), or areas where management has been transferred to local communities with legal contracts (“Gestion Locale Securisée” or GELOSE).
What management tools do LMMAs use?
  • Temporary fishery closures
  • Permanent marine reserves
  • Fishing gear restrictions – e.g. bans on beach seine nets
  • Alternative livelihood initiatives such as aquaculture
  • Mangrove forest restoration and management
What is MIHARI?
MIHARI is Madagascar’s national LMMA network, established in June 2012, bringing together local management associations and their supporting NGOs to share experiences. MIHARI is an acronym for MItantana HArena Ranomasina avy eny Ifotony, which translates as “marine resource management at the local level”. MIHARI organises learning exchanges and regular forums at regional and national levels, providing invaluable opportunities for LMMA managers to explore common issues and develop collaborative solutions face-to-face. The network is kindly supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
What are the priorities of MIHARI?
  • Facilitate networking and learning exchanges between LMMA associations
  • Pursue relevant opportunities to build community capacity and local leadership
  • Make the voices of fishers heard by policy makers
  • Engage closely with the Government of Madagascar to ensure a strong and supportive legal framework for local marine management
  • Develop simple systems for tracking and monitoring progress of LMMAs across Madagascar
  • Explore options for securing the financial sustainability of LMMAs and the MIHARI network
  • Communicate the impact of LMMAs in Madagascar to key stakeholders
  • Share learning with LMMA movements in other countries
How is the MIHARI network funded?
The MIHARI network activities and efforts to build and coordinate the network are funded via a range of grants to partner organisations. The network’s core operations and activities are made possible through grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as well as the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). The Global Environment Facility supports seagrass and dugong conservation* via the MIHARI network.


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* The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project is executed by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, with financing from the GEF,  implementation support by UNEP and technical support from the CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat.

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