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This is typically defined as a partnership arrangement between government and the local community of resource users, sometimes also connected with agents such as NGOs and research institutions, and other resource stakeholders, to share the responsibility and authority for management of a resource. There are no standardised approaches, but rather a range of arrangements, levels of sharing of responsibility and power, and ways of integration of local management mechanisms and more formalised government systems.

The approach is gaining particular importance in small-scale fisheries, for which local management capacity and responsibility, combined with the support of formal legal frameworks and information/decision making systems may offer particular advantages. However, their potential depends on the existing policy and legal environment, local and national support for community-based initiatives, and the capacities of various partners.

 
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