The purpose of People and the Sea is to promote capacity building and community-based marine resources management as a way to alleviate poverty, increase the resilience of coastal communities and raise awareness about marine conservation.
We are dedicated to working alongside the local community of Malapascua towards a healthy and sustainable future, and in identifying innovative ways to protect their marine environment whilst having a positive economic impact.
We believe in an integrated, collaborative approach to achieve meaningful community development and sustainable marine resources management.
Globally, coastal communities find themselves at a a critical juncture: they are caught between pressing social issues (often driven by poverty and lack of education) and ever-worsening environmental threats (climate change, pollution, depletion of marine resources). Our approach is one that seeks to reinforce the bond within communities and amongst stakeholders, and to support them in strengthening the respect and relationship that they have with their marine environment. In doing this, we beleive it is possible to nurture a future where the management of marine resources can meet the needs of all who rely upon them, whilst still preserving their health and integrity.
People and the Sea has developed a set of ’tools’ and a unique integrated approach to better environmental conservation and poverty reduction.
We have developed 5 core programmes on Malapascua that touch different elements of the community, but always carrying a clear and consistent message. These programmes are all funded through sustainable, independent sources. And while these programmes address real, current and very palable problems in their own right, their real success lies in the ability to bring people together and to build partnerships. In every aspect of the work we have undertaken, we see time and again the strength of people working together, with a shared destination.
We believe our model could be replicated in several other locations in the Philippines. The ocean doesn’t have borders, and we need a propagation of positive impacts in multiple locations to counter the current social and environmental threats faced by coastal communities in the Philippines.
From the very day that our organsiation set out along this path, we realised the need to define ourselves a set of principles that we could (and indeed, would) use to measure and assess the work we did – a mean of providing guidance and consistency, as well as ensuring the legitimacy of our efforts. These principles have remain unchanged, and continue to be as relevant and influential now as they were intended to be.
- We believe that efforts in supporting coastal communities should be made with a long-term commitment to achieve real change.
- Involvement of the community is essential to implement successful projects.
- Our needs in human resources and hosting infrastructure should be met locally.
- We commit to share information with local and national organisations, local stakeholders and governmental authorities.
- We maintain rigorous monitoring and evaluation processes to measure and demonstrate our impact.