Welcome back to my second installment of our CBE Fellows blog report. Reporting live: From Galway (Gaillimh) Ireland !
I left you last time with the first stages of our project — valuing sea-floor resources, and it has come a long way. My colleagues at the SEMRU unit have been instrumental in helping me get up to speed and teaching me some tricks on GIS. At the end, we will be getting a report written to show what ecosystem services that these sea-floor habitats have in the study areas of the
EU-ATLAS Project. It’s been going very well, and this will be a great groundwork for further projects — This experience has been very academic, unlike some of my colleagues diving on reefs and working with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
My research at Conservation International deals with expanding Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) across the Coral Triangle region encompassing Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste. Of approximately 43,000 coastal communities in the region, 2,500 have CBNRM in place. Conservation International wants to double this number by 2026 or so, implying a ten-percent growth rate per year. Simultaneously, they wish to reach another 20,000 communities with knowledge-sharing materials (storybooks, videos, gamification, etc.) to teach them about CBNRM and inspire them to begin organizing themselves as well.
Examples of this expansion can be found in Papua New Guinea with the Ecocustodian Advocates who use inter-community teaching and simple tools to reach other population. Expanding the Reach is another effort in Solomon Islands and is based in the government. consisting of peer-to-peer teaching. This initiative is becoming part of mainstream operations in the country, reflecting several government trends in the regions. A network of Locally Managed Marine Areas in Indonesia is also working with Conservation International to expand, and consists already of over 100 communities. Combined with all of the other NGOs’ initiatives in the area, serious investments are flowing into this approach to manage the highly diverse marine resources in the region. Continue reading →