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Overcoming Governance and Institutional Barriers to Integrated Coastal Zone, Marine Protected Area, and Tourism Management in Sri Lanka

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One of the major barriers to addressing complex social-ecological issues through integrated coastal management (ICM) is a lack of intergovernmental coordination and cooperation (horizontal and vertical fragmentation). This article describes an effort to overcome the barriers to ICM in Sri Lanka by fostering intergovernmental collaboration and initiating adaptive governance to restore one town, Hikkaduwa, and its associated marine protected area (MPA) and coastal zone habitats. Administrators from 12 national and local governmental agencies that are responsible for aspects of coastal management in the town of Hikkaduwa participated in a series of formal and informal workshops and a week-long tour of ICM projects in the Philippines. Outcomes demonstrate that these informal and formal meetings, workshops, and travel experiences fostered trust, social capital, and attitudinal organizational commitment (AOC). The experiences motivated members to overcome vertical and horizontal governance fragmentation through the formation of an independent intergovernmental committee for the restoration of Hikkaduwa into a sustainable and resilient community. ICM activities undertaken by the newly formed organization suggest that internal leadership capacity, effective local-national partnerships, explicitly linked ecological-economic projects, and long-term commitment are necessary conditions for success. Overall, attainment of sustainability and resilience through successful ICM should be thought of as a journey and not a destination.
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Keywords: Sri Lanka; governance; institutional organization; integrated coastal management; marine protected area management; resilience; sustainable development; tourism management

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA 2: The Louis Berger Group, Inc., Washington, DC, USA 3: Idama, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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