Alternative Livelihoods Create Incentives for Stewardship: Sustainable Marine Resource Use for People in Eastern Indonesia



Tetra Tech

This case study describes how USAID Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (SEA) promotes integrated approaches to improve the governance and management of fisheries and marine resources, conserve biodiversity, and enhance food security and sustainable livelihoods.

Funding Approach: Co-funded. Geographic Approach: Co-located. Sectors Integrated: Biodiversity and Food Security.

In Indonesia, as in many countries, the fisheries sector has historically been treated as a source of revenue and employment with little concern for its long-term sustainability. At the same time, marine biodiversity conservation has been viewed as a stand-alone effort with little relation to fisheries management, fish stock status, or production. As the number of people who fish for a living continues to increase, species are being lost and fish catches are declining. Current research indicates that fisheries will not survive without significant improvements in conservation and management. In response, USAID/Indonesia designed the Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (SEA) activity to employ an integrated strategy for improving the governance and management of fisheries and marine resources, conserving biodiversity, and enhancing food security and sustainable livelihoods.

The USAID SEA activity promotes vertical collaboration from local to national government and horizontal collaboration within the provincial government around fisheries and marine conservation. USAID SEA works with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to advance collaboration across national agencies and with provincial governments to promote policy coherence and achieve sustainable outcomes in the marine environment. USAID SEA tracks the number of people that apply improved conservation law enforcement practices to measure engagement across government “sectors,” as achieving improved law enforcement practices requires working with more than one government enforcement agency at local and national levels, as well as engaging civil society.

USAID integrates Feed the Future funding and associated food security interventions to support the activity’s biodiversity objectives. Through this integration, USAID SEA creates incentives for local resource stewardship and community support for marine conservation through development of alternative livelihoods. The Feed the Future-funded interventions contribute to improving fisheries management practices, strengthening marine tenure systems and securing access to resources for traditional groups, enhancing women’s participation in management processes, enhancing resilience, and improving fisheries value chains without increasing fishing capacity. By combining the two funding streams, USAID SEA contributes to marine conservation and food security, which are both critical long-term goals for self-reliant, sustainable development.

Lessons Learned

Periodically review integration efforts to examine how larger objectives are being achieved.

Regularly review the theory of change to analyze how different activity interventions intersect, overlap, or do not support each other, and how integration across interventions can amplify outcomes for fisheries, food security, and marine biodiversity conservation. Employ an adaptive management approach to ensure that integration efforts are on track and adapt to the geographic and political context, without sacrificing the main objectives and integration goals. Set a regular, scheduled group review to ensure smooth implementation and achieve target indicators.

Engage multiple partners and counterparts to achieve cross-sectoral approaches.

Involve partners in planning and implementation processes to ensure integrated approaches are understood and valued. Engage all stakeholders in developing tools for measuring impacts to ensure partners understand how integration helps achieve goals and objectives.

Be realistic about time required for integrated design and implementation.

Set realistic timelines for implementation that recognize the additional time needed to plan co-funded activities and allow time for baseline monitoring. Some biodiversity indicators, such as number of hectares showing improved biophysical conditions, can require more than five years to observe measurable results; plan for this time and adapt as necessary.

Learn More

Explore more case studies on the USAID Biodiversity Integration Case Competition website.

Learn more about biodiversity integration with other USAID technical sectors on the Biodiversity Conservation Gateway.

Learn more about USAID/Indonesia’s work on sustainable fisheries and marine conservation.