Dear MPA News:
In supporting what Adrian Phillips said in the February MPA News (MPA News 5:7) about failures in local management, I’d like to quote from my paper in the proceedings of the 2000 International Coral Reef Symposium in Bali entitled “The Development and Establishment of Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas”, as follows:

“Design and management of MPAs must be both top-down and bottom-up. A common feature of Western thought, which many Asians find amusing, is the ‘either-or’ mentality. This is demonstrated by the adversarial legal systems that prevail in many Western countries and by the tendency to think in black-and-white terms. The debate about the relative merits of top-down and bottom-up approaches exemplifies this problem. Except in effective dictatorships, pure top-down methods will never work. Equally, attempts by local communities to establish protective measures without the support of appropriate levels of government will end in their rules being broken by outsiders. Therefore, in developing MPAs, it is necessary to obtain the formal support of both local communities and government.”

Graeme Kelleher
12 Marulda Street, Arenda, Canberra ACT 2614, Australia. Tel: +61 2625 11402; E-mail:

[Editor’s note: Kelleher is a senior advisor to the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.]