Social Science in Coral Reef Conservation

The author meeting with community members in Fiji over kava. Photo by CORAL staff

The social sciences have historically been more intertwined with terrestrial conservation than with their marine counterpart. The notion of incorporating social science into conservation efforts began with the concept of Integrated Conservation and Development Programs (ICDPs), which aimed to simultaneously meet development and conservation goals. While the results of these projects were mixed, it remains a commonly used concept, carried out under the more commonly known term of  “community-based natural resource management” or “community-based conservation." Through these programs, conservation groups, particularly in the developing world, are increasingly incorporating social needs into their strategies. Socially integrative concepts like co-management, Territorial Use Rights Fisheries (TURFs), and Rapid Assessment techniques are now more prevalent in coral reef conservation as well. All of these structures and tools incorporate … [Read more...]

CORAL – True Partnership Defined

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As CORAL’s development director, I am responsible for the success of our fundraising and communications efforts. One of the most significant struggles I’ve faced in that role is finding the balance between shouting from the rooftops how awesome our organization is—because it is—and giving credit to our partners, whose profiles we want to raise. That struggle resolved itself for me during a recent trip to Honduras; I joined members of our staff and Board on a field visit to learn more about our current and future projects there. I saw firsthand what partnership really means for conservation and why CORAL’s value lies not just in how effective we are—but more importantly, in how effective we help make everyone else. Jenny Myton is one of the most talented conservation professionals you will ever meet—and fortunately for CORAL, she serves as our Honduras Field Manager. But Jenny would rather I talk about our partners Giaco, Nic, … [Read more...]