Marine conservation beyond MPAs: Towards the recognition of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) in Indonesia

Author links open overlay panelEstradivariabiMuh. FirdausAgungcDedi SupriadiAdhuridSebastian C.A.FersebeItaSualiafDominic A.Andradi-BrowngStuart J.CampbellhMohamadIqbaliHarry D.JonaspMuhammad ErdiLazuardiiHellenNanlohyjFitryantiPakidingkNi Kadek SriPusparinilHikmah C.RamadhanaiToniRuchimatmI Wayan VedaSantiadjinNatelda R.TimiselaoLauraVeverkagGabby N.AhmadiagShow moreAdd to MendeleyShareCite rights and contentUnder a Creative Commons licenseOpen access


OECMs can be a complementary area-based conservation tool beyond MPAs in Indonesia.•

Indonesia has > 390 potential marine OECMs, and many have been implemented for centuries.•

OECM recognition in Indonesia will contribute to achieving area-based conservation targets.•

OECMs in Indonesia can advance effective, inclusive, and equitable conservation.•

Four transformational strategies to recognize OECMs in Indonesia are introduced.


In a marine environment that is rapidly changing due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, area-based management tools are often used to mitigate threats and conserve biodiversity. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are amongst the most widespread and recognized marine conservation tools worldwide, however, MPAs alone are inadequate to address the environmental crisis. The promotion of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) under draft Target 3 of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, i.e., conserving 30% of marine areas by 2030, holds promise to acknowledge sites and practices occurring beyond MPAs that contribute to conservation. Here, we evaluate the potential recognition of OECMs into Indonesia’s national policy framework on marine resource management and provide the first-ever overview of distribution and types of potential marine OECMs in Indonesia, including a review of the existing evidence on conservation effectiveness. We identified > 390 potential marine OECMs, led by government, customary and local communities, or the private sector, towards diverse management objectives, including habitat protection, traditional/customary management, fisheries, tourism, or other purposes. While some evidence exists regarding the conservation effectiveness of these practices, the long-term impacts on biodiversity of all potential marine OECMs in Indonesia are unknown. Many OECM elements have been included in several national policies, yet there are no established mechanisms to identify, recognize and report sites as OECMs in Indonesia. We propose four transformational strategies for future OECM recognition in Indonesia, namely: (i) safeguard customary and traditional communities, (ii) leverage cross-sector and cross-scale collaboration, (iii) focus on delivering outcomes, and (iv) streamline legal frameworks. Our study shows that OECMs have the potential to play a significant role in underpinning marine area-based conservation in Indonesia, including supporting the Government of Indonesia in reaching national and international conservation targets and goals.

Graphical Abstract