What is Community-Based Adaptive Management?

Community-Based Adaptive Management (CBAM) refers to a process through which LMMAs can be achieved and sustained. Adaptive management is well-suited to the conditions prevailing in much of the Pacific, where ecological and social systems are complex and unpredictable and where there is little chance of obtaining complete scientific information but resource managers/owners often have in-depth local knowledge of their marine resources.

Adaptive management can be defined as the integration of design, management and monitoring in order to learn and improve responses to management efforts. It is an ongoing cycle of designing and checking a plan and then modifying management in light of the results. This implies the drawing up and agreement of a management plan, a method of checking/monitoring results, and regular analysis and discussion of whether the plan needs improving.

Community-based implies that the management is carried out by, or with a major role played by the community, local stakeholders, relevant user groups, and also the locally and nationally relevant institutions and private interests. The basic process can be summarized as:

• Make a plan

• Implement the plan

• Check how it is going

• Revise the plan (if necessary)

• Carry on…