Dr Nils Krueck talks about how CCRES's MPA design tools are helping communities plan marine reserves.

Researchers reflect on the impact of their work

We asked two CCRES leaders about the most memorable part of their work so far and where they have seen CCRES research having an impact.

CCRES Project Leader for Marine Reserve Design with The University of Queensland, Nils Krueck, said that working with the Selayar community in Indonesia to develop a marine protected area plan was a rewarding experience:

The most exciting practical part of my work was when I joined members of the social science component to work directly with communities in Selayar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

We spent a lot of time with the community, engaging in discussion about their views on potential marine protected areas, essentially gathering all the information that we could about their local situation, also including participatory field surveys. We then tried to help the community by integrating all information and applying our novel quantitative MPA design optimization tools. All test scenarios used to inform this process were based on community interests in order to support the local decision-making process.

Together, we then made an explicit plan that has been forwarded to the district government for official implementation. I personally think that this was the most rewarding and exciting part of my work for CCRES so far.

CCRES Project Manager Liz Izquierdo also had her most memorable ‘impact’ moment on Selayar where she discovered how My Future, My Oceans was helping the women in the community change behaviours:

Two weeks after I commenced working with CCRES I had my first trip to Selayar, Indonesia, where the My Future, My Oceans team were visiting the community for the second time.

They held a focus group discussion asking the women how they felt before and after the use of the tool and what it had helped them with.

I remember a couple of the women spoke about their experiences. One said that she was now able to stand up at home and ask her husband not to smoke inside the house because of the health of the kids.

Another one said that they were empowered by My Future, My Oceans learning and were able to organise themselves to address an important issue – to keep the town clean from goat faeces. That was amazing. 

Read more impact stories in CCRES’s Six-Monthly Progress Report (January to June 2018).