The Advisory Committee recommended case studies of past decision-making in the Bismarck Sea relating to large scale development. They identified four priorities: oil palm, Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs), bêche-de-mer fishery closures, and seabed mining. The aims of the case studies were to understand the statutory versus actual decision-making processes in the Bismarck Sea, identify key actors and their roles, assess their information and capacity-building needs, and provide an opportunity for enhancing networks and knowledge amongst decision-makers through the participatory process. The identification of key decision-makers, their power and influence, plus those who were dis-empowered, then informed the design of the Step 4 Pilot planning and Step 5 Tools training.
A full description of the methods and results are given in Meharg et al. (2016a, b). The case studies revealed six common issues which the program attempted to address in subsequent steps:
A decision-maker presenting her understanding of the decision-making process and stakeholders involved in oil palm development (Photo: Seona Meharg)