Sustainable Coral Reef Management:
 
Setting up a marine or terrestrial park is not just about getting it designated officially on paper. The main marker of success is how involved the local community are in the decision making process and whether social, economic and conservation benefits can be measured a few years onwards. A management plan is not likely to work if it is imposed upon people without their consultation or approval.  The local community must be involved throughout the implementation process and ensuing management of the park.

Our local partners and stakeholders are not only involved but form an integral component to every project, in fact they invite us over to help assess their natural resources and advise them in areas where our services are most needed. We only assist in the implementation of a management plan after the vast majority of the community understands the project and supports the initiative.


Local community involvement guides us towards the most appropriate and applicable solution to the problem at hand. There is no point in trying to apply blanket solutions to local fisheries, pollution or social issues relating to degrading ecosystems and resources.  Every scenario is unique and must take into account cultural, social and political differences. It is much more likely that a natural area will be effectively managed if the dependent communities in the surrounding area are educated, trained and empowered to make the decisions and changes where needed.   Involving the local communities not only ensures conservation success while we are there but builds a lasting conservation legacy.

Community Work & Scholarships Education, training and capacity building are therefore crucial to empowering communities to manage their natural resources sustainably and independently from external help.  CCC helps raise conservation awareness and builds local capacity through a variety of community projects.  We run regular workshops for stakeholder groups such as fishermen and farmers as well as providing lectures and activity days in local schools & community centres.  Volunteers help run beach clean-up days & puppet shows for kids and we also offer snorkelling and basic marine survey training to local youths so they can see first hand what’s out there and see the beautiful reefs that lie on their doorstep.

CCC offers full 'Scholarship Programmes ' for suitable candidates from universities, government departments and local target groups. These 2-4 week programmes teach scholars how to conduct scientific assessments and are often catered to the needs of a specific group. Representatives from the fisheries department for example, often receive additional training in conducting community surveys whereas marine park wardens will be trained in basic scientific monitoring techniques. For the youths, we provide 'Reef Ranger' training programmes that enable them to learn about coral reef and rainforest conservation and gain some practical experience surveying the reefs.  The Scholarship Programmes are sponsored through match funding from external donors and volunteer contributions, providing a place for local scholars to take part in our work alongside international volunteers, thereby learning from each other and exchanging cultural.

A combination of capacity building , alternative livelihoods , education, volunteer participation, sound science and partnerships with local NGO's and universities and governments allow us to provide a holistic approach to conservation management and enable us to formulate practical management plans for the long term sustainable use of reefs and rainforests.