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. Our objective is to support local communities in identifying innovative ways to protect their marine environment and have a positive economic impact. We believe in an integrated approach to achieve sustainable community development and compelling marine conservation.
Member since: 07 Jul 2015
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- We support the development of responsible tourism, where tourists will generate greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities. We also support the development of homestays in Malapascua and communities we work with. One of Filipino’s greatest skills is to host visitors and make them feel at home. We want our volunteers to experience this and we believe that with the correct support, more families could be able to host tourists in their homes. This programme ensures that there is a direct benefit to the local economy, and volunteers gain a more authentic Filipino experience.
- We have a strong commitment to local employment, and aim to build the majority of our team from the communities with which we work.
- We plan than most of our spending will be channelled directly to supporting our research and conservation programmes. 80% of this will be directly spent with the local community.
- People and the Sea aims to collect the data needed to support tourism and natural resources management, as well as advocacy efforts in infrastructure development and marine conservation legislation.
- Quantitative and qualitative data need to be collected during a significant period of time to be able to evaluate and prioritise the threats – and the benefits – generated from tourism to the community and the environment. We are planning to conduct surveys both on land and at sea thanks to the involvement of locally trained surveyors and international eco-tourists.
- By the end of our first year of operations, People and the Sea’s objectives are to: establish on-going coral reef monitoring and biodiversity assessment programme on selected sites; develop a science training programme in the local community; create a habitat and usage map; perform a socio-economic survey to identify main fishing methods, and sources of income to inform alternative decisions and to establish effective communication links between the community and stakeholders who depend on this environmental resource.
- We believe that sustainable marine conservation has to make sense for the local community - ‘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 contribute directly to the decisions that are taken in relation to their marine environment. That’s why our scientific research project will be paired with community development projects and communication campaigns.
- One of our programmes called 'Local Surveyors Training' aims to identify and train local surveyors to participate with the ecological monitoring together with our volunteers. The local surveyors will become community ambassadors as they will recount their experience and their results to their friends and family, which will in turn help engage the community in the project. We also have a programme called 'Support the development of Malapascua Homestay Association'. One of Filipino’s greatest skills is to host visitors and make them feel at home. We want our volunteers to experience this and we believe that with the correct support, more families could be able to host tourists in their homes. This programme ensures that there is a direct benefit to the local economy and volunteers gain a more authentic Filipino experience.
- Establish sustainable, innovative and locally appropriate fisheries management strategies: fisherfolk are experiencing severe decline in catches. This results in an increase in illegal and destructive fishing methods. We believe that with the right support fisherfolk can help design, implement and enforce rules to ban destructive fishing practices, protect endangered species and designate priority marine areas for protection. Mechanisms to ensure long-term financial sustainability need to be drawn for these strategies to be effective. We see it as a top priority from the outset of the project to establish effective channels of communication with the people of Malapascua and all the relevant stakeholders (e.g. businesses, NGOs, government bodies). It is through doing this that the data collected can be actively used. Potential courses of action can be identified, discussed and informed decisions can be taken.