Biodiversity conservation can alter the ecosystems and ecosystem services that are vital for human well-being. Understanding this linkage is essential for management planning to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their values to human well-being. This study evaluates the impacts of coral reef conservation and marine protected areas (MPAs) on the well-being of fishing communities in Central Vietnam. The Cu Lao Cham MPA is chosen as the case study. Coral reef health and four aspects of human well-being (i.e., catch rate [also related to food security], access to the resource, employment, and income) are investigated following the protection in this MPA. Data on the four different aspects were gathered from different sources. The results show that there is good evidence for how coral reef conservation can transfer the flow of benefits from the ecosystem to local people. However, trade-offs also occur as a result of the development of tourism, including the degradation of fish resources and the environment. The managers of the MPA and the community should take into account trade-offs in resource management and should focus on appropriate MPA planning and fisheries management outside the MPA to achieve better outcomes for coral reef ecosystems and the present and future needs of the local community.
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