Balancing Protection and Community Development Through Institutional Arrangement in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, Sabah, Malaysia
The study focuses on critical analysis of how people relate to the institutional environment, which influences the relationships among ecotourism, community development, and conservation of parks and protected areas. It is crucial to examine the livelihoods impacts of park establishment on communities living within the park and the strategies undertaken to cope with changes. A sustainable livelihoods (SL) approach was adopted as a framework to analyse the relationships among institutional processes and organizational structures (i.e. native customary rights, institutional arrangement), livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes. In-depth household surveys and stakeholder interviews were undertaken during three months of fieldwork. Although Tun Sakaran Marine Park (TSMP) has many attributes and potential to be suitable for ecotourism development, it was found that the local communities are not involved in ecotourism although dive operators are bringing divers and snorkelers to the park on a daily basis. Therefore, institutional support should be strengthened if ecotourism is to balance protection and become a livelihood strategy in TSMP.
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