Addressing the dilemma of development on a coral reef atoll: A case study of Agatti atoll, in the Lakshadweep archipelago of India.
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This dissertation was carried out with an aim of advancing the concept of establishing small, no take MPAs as a solution to sustainable reef use and conservation in the tropical atoll of Agatti, India. This was done by first carrying out a review of literature based on coral reef atoll management using co-managed MPAs. Second, a case study approach was used to analyse documents pertinent to Agatti’s socio-ecological system (SES). After careful analysis of the Agatti atoll and its parent archipelago, it was realised that the said atoll has certain inherent obstacles which hinder its sustainable development. However, this study also found out that the island community has latent potential for co-management. Therefore it was recommended that this aspect needs to be further explored and exploited through intensive consultations by the government. An indicative SES Framework was developed for Agatti with an element of a co-managed MPA fortifying the reef and its people. Implementation of this framework has the potential to lead Agatti towards sustainable development.