Table 1. Classification system used in coding independent variables. This table provides detailed explanation of the six broad categories and 12 sub-categories that were developed inductively as part of an opening coding process. Each returned survey was coded using this classification system.

Broad Category Sub-category Sub-category Explanation
1. Locus of control–responses pertaining to who should be driving and supporting the area (namely the local community), and the specific local social characteristics that are required. 1.1 Locally driven CCA is driven (initiated and motivated), controlled, and managed by the local community, rather than being externally driven. For example:
“the conservation area must be a community-driven project.”
1.2 Local support Strong support and demonstrated commitment (from local leaders and the whole community) for the CCA, as well as active community participation and cooperation. For example:
“the community freely volunteers their time to the conservation area.”
1.3 Local (social) characteristics Strength of community structures and traditions, i.e., strong leadership; community virtues, i.e., patience; absence of land disputes; belief/willingness for conservation; ownership and knowledge of the CCA. For example:
“Absence of over-inflated community expectations about what conservation will deliver.”
2. Local benefits–responses regarding the benefits that should be provided for the local community, i.e., satisfaction of local needs or provision for incentives. 2.1 Local needs satisfied Satisfaction of local social, cultural, and economic needs, including: education, skills, capacity, power, subsistence, health, and wellbeing. For example:
“community feels that their conservation area is making a useful contribution to the village and its people.”
2.2 Provision of incentives Development of alternative income-generating activities, monetary compensation, and increased resources for local use. For example:
“pressure is always there for the community to touch our resources but...alternative income generation to counter this would (help) avoid failure.”
3. Resource focus–responses that indicated that success depends on the area being suitable for conservation based on its resources, which are either socially defined or ecologically defined. 3.1 Locally defined resource (social) Issues of locally sustainable resource use, socially and culturally appropriate, locally defined and designed CCA. For example:
“The most successful...are modest, small, at times temporally and spatially shifting.”
3.2 Ecologically defined Ecological site selection and design, ecological effectiveness and conservation outcomes. For example:
“The area is not degraded and able to yield increases in abundance and diversity.”
4. Management–responses regarding the appropriateness of management style, operations, structure,and capacity. 4.1 Appropriate Style Specific to the social, cultural,and economic environment of the Pacific islands, and particular local community contexts. For example:
“...failure would come when a Western-type management style is imposed on people who have no previous concept of the conventional protected areas.”
4.2 Appropriate operations and structure Locally appropriate and sensitive monitoring and enforcement; relevant financial and administration structures; effective local rules or local policy supporting the CCA; public awareness and education. For example:
“... communities are proactively managing the natural resources ... having specific measures in place to monitor their success and the financial resources to implement management strategies.”
4.3 Adequacy of management capacity Established or the development of local management capacity and self-reliance. Including financial, administrative, and conservation management. For example:
“the community is not dependent on outside for continued management of the CCA.”
5. External involvement–responses regarding the role and nature of external (i.e., NGO, government, funders, and individual) support and interaction. 5.1 Nature of external involvement How external stakeholders relate to the local community, appropriateness of involvement, and specific virtues that they should have and pursue, i.e., external ideas and values not imposed; not money driven; sensitivity and awareness of potential impact of external presence. For example:
“... the donor has limited influence on what is happening. The money has come with no strings attached and the donor has realistic expectations of the outcome required.”
5.2 Type of support The ways the external party(ies) should or should not support CCAs–investment and the type of support. For example:
“the government must recognize the community’s right to establish and enforce the conservation area.”
6. Sustainability—the sustainability of the CCA following intervention: managerially, socially, financially, and ecologically. No sub-categories. “Sustainability” was considered by some respondents to be the foundation of success, and all other success elements facilitate, enable or lead to sustainability, and therefore, success. For example:
“I believe a CCA is successful when its management is able to meet both resource-conservation and income-generation objectives in a sustainable manner.”