People and the Sea was created out of a passion for the marine environment, and a desire to see it conserved for future generations while still offering a sustainable livelihood to the communities who are so reliant on it.
We are embarking on an ambitious program that seeks to enhance the lives of the people of Malapascua. Our first step is the establishment of a volunteer tourism expedition program on the island.
To be successful, the program needs to achieve longevity. While the initial setup of the project has been privately funded, the longer term sustainability of the project relies on the ongoing participation of both foreign and local volunteers. In considering this, we feel it is essential that the expeditions we offer provide the participants with a safe, educational, fulfilling and most of all, inspiring, experience.
By the end of our first year of operations, People and the Sea will:
- Establish an ongoing coral reef monitoring and biodiversity assessment programme on 25-30 sites
- Develop a science training program for the local community
- Create a habitat map of Malapascua’s waters and a usage map of Malapascua’s waters (fishing and diving sites)
- Perform a socio-economic survey to identify main fishing methods, and sources of income. This will inform the investigation of what alternative sources of income could be developed on Malapascua
- Establish effective communication links with the local community/stakeholders that permit the dissemination of the information we gather.
Community takes a central role in our expeditions – ‘ownership’ is critical. This means that the people of Malapascua must believe in any attempt to manage their seas. They must understand the benefits, they must see and feel the benefits, and they must feel that the decisions that are taken in relation their marine environment are their decisions.
But it should be stated that all this is just the start. While our diving activities will always retain their prominent position in our operations, we also intend to use them as a base from which to launch wider local community initiatives to inform, educate and empower. These form a key component of our longer-term strategy and vision. A number of potential initiatives have already been identified.
In all of our work, we believe a participative role for our expedition volunteers is critical to the eventual outcome. There is a lot of work to be done. As a volunteer, you bring ideas, energy, enthusiasm, creativity and skills that can really make a difference.
We are committed to the island of Malapascua. We are dedicated to empowering the people who make it so special, and to finding ways to preserve the stunning beauty that strikes you as soon as set foot here. But we need your help to achieve this.
So how to summarise this? Simple….