Terms & Definitions

Below are common terms used within the Network to describe project work.


A site is the area where an LMMA is physically located and includes the habitats and resources present in the area and the communities that own and manage its resources. A site may also include any adjacent or nearby communities that use the resources, but do not have any ownership or management rights. A project may involve just one site or multiple sites. Some sites may have more than one LMMA.


An LMMA is the overall marine area being managed by the local community or resource-owning groups (or co-managed with government and/or partner organisations). The overall marine area may include coral reefs, seagrass beds, mudflats, mangrove and other areas. Within an LMMA, different tools may be used to counter threats. Currently there are over 400 LMMAs within the Network.


A tool is a specific strategy or action used to counter threats within the LMMA. One or more tools may be used over time and/or spatial scales. Examples of tools include:

• Full Reserve (also called ‘sanctuary,’ ‘no-take zone,’ ‘marine protected area’ or ‘MPA,’ etc.)

• Species-Specific Harvest Refugia

• Effort, Gear or Behavioral Restrictions

• Seasonal Restrictions

Marine Protected Areas

Many communities and projects around the globe use different names to describe similar methods and tools used in marine conservation. At various LMMA workshops held in Asia and the Pacific, all of the following terms have been used to describe similar methods and tools:

Various terms for marine protected areas

“community managed reserve area”

“community-based marine protected area”

“multiple use community-based marine protected area”

“customary resource area and wildlife management area”

“managed reserve”

“marine protected area”

“marine reserve”

“marine conservation area”

“marine sanctuary”

“multiple use zones”

“no take zone”

“no-take x-year closure” or “ra’ui area”

“no-take conservation area”

“no-take traditional reserve”

“permanent no-take zone”

“seasonal reserves”

“special management area”

“species-specific sasizen”

“tabu area”

“zoned marine protected area” (no-take & multiple use)

(Parks, J. E. and N. Salafsky , 2001)


The term ‘member’ refers to an LMMA site and the group of people implementing the project; the LMMA community/representatives have requested membership and are actively participating in the Network.


A partner is an individual or group (such as non-profit organizations, government agencies, universities, researchers, etc.) that is involved with or assists communities in the implementation of an LMMA project. See Partners for links to our partners’ websites.