SocMon studies in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep have been carried out at Agatti Island in 2001-2002 (Hoon, V. et al. 2002) and 2010-2011 (Hoon, V. and Babu 2011), and at Minicoy Island in 2003-2004 (Hoon et al. 2004). Being representative of all other islands in Lakshadweep, Minicoy was selected for an assessment update in 2019-2020 in order to add results to the existing information. A detailed socioeconomic study of Minicoy provides insights into the resource dependency and the issues that are facing them. Residents of Minicoy Island are isolated and have to be self-reliant, especially during the monsoon period when the sea becomes very rough for boat transportation. The islanders depend on the goods and services from local resources of the island, lagoon, reef and the open sea for survival.
This was a repeat monitoring effort to look at trends and changes in the socioeconomic status of the islanders, that have taken place since the first study that was published in 2004.
The program was initiated with the premise that long-term sustainability of coral reef management and monitoring programs can be ensured if the local community partici- pates and feels a sense of ownership.
An additional benefit is that it serves as both a capacity and awareness building pro- gram for the local communities who are directly involved in using the ecosystem goods and services, as well as those who are involved in monitoring them.