Participatory mangrove forest management in the Carey Island, Malaysia
M. Almasi, P. Milow, R.M. Zakaria
In past 20 years, where there has been widespread degradation of mangroves, there are also cases where communities and governments have successfully restored their degraded mangroves. Researchers have emphasized on participatory models of management in mangrove forests. The present research aims to formulate a participatory management strategy to conserve mangrove forests in the Carey Island, Malaysia. The major management tool is a SWOT matrix analysis. For this purpose, the analysis of the data collected from 31 in-depth interviews with indigenous people living in the area of research as well as the information from the researchers’ observation resulted in identification of a series of internal and external factors in the targeted area in terms of conservation of the mangrove forest. The factors were then scored using a SWOT questionnaire filled by 312 respondents, and later, sixteen strategies were considered using SWOT matrix and pairwise matching for the conservation of the mangrove forests. Later, the Qualitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM) was used and four prioritized strategies were determined. As a conclusion, the four prioritized strategies were all related to capacity building, involvement and participation of stakeholders in the process of the mangrove forest conservation. Therefore, mangrove forest management in Carey Island requires a participatory approach in a way that not only the mangrove harvesting would be sustainably controlled, but stakeholders, especially villagers, will be simultaneously empowered and take responsibility of the sustainable conservation of their habitat and its biodiversity.