Who we are
To conserve the natural resource heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitats and promoting sustainable utilization of marine resources.
To facilitate and empower local people to manage and conserve natural resources within the social, cultural and economic context of their communities
Sustainable blue economy
Humans living adjacent to marine resources have relied on coastal resources for centuries. However, over population and increased accessibility of coastal resources through technology have resulted in overcrowded and often conflicted spaces. Several nations have been working towards development of national blue economy strategies that further highlights the increased focus on coastal resources to address a broad range of blue economies. The need to manage sustainable development and future exploitation of both over-utilized and emergent coastal resources is both a political and environmental complexity.
COBEC draws on a multidisciplinary approach that incentivize coastal fishing communities in active marine conservation by building a grassroots blue economy through nature-based opportunities and responsibly markets of marine products and services. Sustainable blue economy development and low impact activities have the potential to mitigate habitat fragmentation and loss for marine biodiversity.
Applying the bottom-up (or grass-root) activities that bring individuals and organizations together to work towards achieving desired environmental goals. These approaches are fueled by a community force that exerts pressure on government agencies. Commonly referred to as localization or subsidiarity this force reflects peoples’ desire for a greater say in issues that affect them. While government agencies may set strategies and prepare plans and policies, their ultimate success depends on the support of a wide spectrum of society, so this desire for involvement needs to be acknowledged and acted upon.
COBEC operates at a local or community level. COBEC tends to be voluntary, people-centred and participatory, with community members making management decisions. Expertise may be provided by outside agencies but management responsibility remains with the community group.
Community-based environmental conservation reverses top-down, centre-driven conservation by focusing on the people who bear the costs of conservation. In the broadest sense, then, community-based environmental conservation includes natural resource or biodiversity protection by, for, and with local communities.