In the late 1990s, as more evidence grew about both the need and effectiveness of helping communities take the lead, staff from various organisations working throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific also recognised that although there was increasing number of initiatives involving community-based marine conservation taking place – and that many of them overlapped – they were not effectively sharing resources or information, and thus not learning as much as they could from each others’ successes and shortcomings.
These were the seeds for the LMMA Network, as these practitioners began advocating bringing the growing projects together to learn collectively and improve their outcomes and conservation impact.
By August 2000, more than 100 conservation practitioners from 20 projects in 12 countries across Southeast Asia and the Pacific gathered to discuss how to work and learn together. At that August meeting, a key focus was the factors they believed would influence the success or failure of their projects, and how to measure success, so best practices could be shared and scaled-up. Out of this, the LMMA Network was born.