After a year of hard work, the time for People and the Sea to begin field operations on the island of Malapascua is almost here.
With a lot of equipment to be acquired to ensure safe and efficient operations, the costs of the initial setup are significant. Through our crowd-funding campaign we are asking for loans – not donations – to help us get established. We believe this demonstrates the faith we have in the work we are doing.
The website where you can show your support for us is here. As the project explanation page is entirely in french, a full translation of the project presentation can be found below. But don’t worry, the payment page is in English!
We really hope you will take time to learn more about People and the Sea and show your support by pledging some money to help us realise our vision.
About Axelle and Ian and Charline
Axelle and Ian are partners in life. Their life, which is spent between Europe and Asia, is driven by the same passions.
“We are passionate about the Sea, we are passionate about People. We believe that most of us want to do something good, and that many small actions can generate a tremendous positive impact. Coastal communities are often at the low end of the educational, financial and social institutional systems. Volunteer tourism is a way to bridge this gap and show these communities that marine resources management makes economic sense.”
Axelle has a wide set of skills and experience: a double degree in management and science, considerable experience in operations and project management in the corporate world, field experience in Madagascar for a renowned conservation NGO and she is a dive instructor. Above all, this project is a way for her to answer an urgent call to act for the marine environment while sharing the richness of the Filipino people.
With over 10 years experience in the diving industry, Ian is eager for a new challenge. Dive instructor, owner of the largest dive centre in Wales, UK, he has become a tech diving instructor and pushed his limits down to 95m. Planning and anticipating are essential skills at these depths, and are equally important when he is in charge of divers’ safety during scientific expeditions or during the filming of underwater documentaries. He also has a Masters in Marine and Coastal Resources.
And little Charline… she follows her parents round the world and is eager to get back to Malapascua, where everyone is waiting for her!
What is this project about?
People and the Sea is a non-profit French registered charity. We are developing a research site on Malapascua, Philippines.
Tropical seas urgently need conservation – i.e. high concentration of people and activities, decline of marine resources, increased vulnerability to climate change and natural catastrophes. They are also a favoured tourist destination – i.e. islands, beach, sun, and beautiful marine world.
Our aim: to encourage responsible travel and to develop partnerships with the community. We will train volunteers and local people to dive and to conduct marine resources monitoring. They can then help us study, monitor and obtain support for marine resources management.
Know more about this project
A year ago, while staying on Malapascua island with Charline, who was then 8 months old, we realised there was another side to the beautiful scenery, blue seas and smiling people. Destructive fishing, lack of training, plastic pollution… we were prompted to do something to support this community and bring change. People and the Sea was born.
Our first step is the establishment of a reputable volunteer tourism expedition programme. Volunteers will be trained to dive, recognise benthic, fish and invertebrate species and perform underwater surveys. The information they will collect will allow us to:
- Monitor the impact of conservation programmes, climate events and the evolution of biodiversity and reef habitats
- Promote sustainable management of marine resources (protected areas, sustainable fishing, ec)
- Develop supplemental and alternative livelihoods
- Support the local economy and the sharing of the different cultures between local people and volunteers.
This is an ambitious program that seeks to enhance the lives of the people of Malapascua. The programme will involve many actors, starting with YOU. In helping set up this project up, you will be part of this great adventure.
What will we do with these funds?
We have already invested about 5,000 euros: 2 reconnaissance trips to the Philippines, meeting partners in France and the UK, marketing and communication expenses, etc. We have earmarked another 30.000
Euros to be spent in the next 6 months. However, to give us greater flexibility we would need a further 10.000 euros and we are asking for your help. Click on the “Lend to this project” and show your support!
This loan will help purchase the following equipment:
- General expenses: computers, printer, projector, small office supplies. Estimated costs: 2,000 euros.
- Scientific equipment: GPS, scientific tools (salinity, sediment, environmental test tools), underwater cameras and Gopros. Estimated costs: 4,000 euros.
- Diving equipment: diving computers, safety equipment, dive tanks. Estimated costs: 4,000 euros.
Why a loan and not a donation? We are convinced of our business model and would like to ask for your ‘free’ support. It won’t cost you anything! We also believe it is a great way to get people involved even you can’t make it to Malapascua.
How will we refund this loan?
We will start operating in September 2015. The volunteers’ contribution covers the volunteers’ direct costs (50%), and some of the research costs (30%) and structure costs (20%).
We have chosen to refund the loan over a period of 2 years with a 6 months deferred payment. We have chosen 2 years as we want to minimise the impact of the loan to our environmental and community programmes. The 6 months deferred payment will allow our programme to become recognised and attract volunteers.
Monthly repayment of 555 euros are taken into account in our structure costs. They represent 5% of our yearly turnover.
And Bob said he will pay you back if needs be!
How will we thank you?
Everyone who helps launch the project will be personally thanked and will be acknowledged on our website if they wish. There will be regular updates via our blog, newsletter and facebook page.
A special welcome/surprise will be waiting for anyone who visits us in Malapascua!
What impact does this project have on the community?
- This innovative project has a direct impact on the community, and incentivises them to take part and become active in the management and conservation of their marine resources.
- Direct involvement of the local community: homestays, participatory workshops, awareness campaigns, participation to events to highlight social and environmental threats.
- Economic impact: 65% of our expenses will be spent locally – i.e. accommodation, meals, local employment, transport, rental of boats.
- Capacity building: we will develop training programmes (support local entrepreneurship, bookkeeping skills, science training), implement a scholarship programme and support alternative livelihoods.
- We also aim to hire 3 to 10 local staff: community liaison, cooks, boat crew, research field assistants.
The people of the Philippines are incredibly resilient. We witnessed it when we were on Malapascua during typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. We believe that with their energy and our skills and experience we can support the development of sustainable livelihoods on this island.