RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Community-based conservation projects

Building adaptive capacity in coastal communities to support nature-based social innovation and social-ecological resilience

Our projects target the Land-to-Sea ecosystem continuum with circularity transversal to all these projects. We use the restoration sites as classrooms for hands-on learning and awareness building

The conservation projects we lead are community-based and transdisciplinary. As such community engagement, transformative learning and participatory processes are central tenets of our project implementation contributing to project outcome sustainability.

Our Impact in 2023

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Programs delivered
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Students empowered
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Ongoing Projects
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Partner organizations

For-rest

Tropical forest and terrestrial biodiversity restoration

Seagong

Seagrass and dugong conservation

Man-core

Mangrove ecological restoration

Reef

Coral reef ecosystem restoration

Wast-ed

Waste management & circularity education

FOR-REST

Community-based tropical forest and terrestrial biodiversity restoration.

Increasing resilience of terrestrial ecosystems and the local communities depending on them, through increasing forest cover and habitat connectivity using ecological restoration and agroecology.

• Short-sighted housing development and land use

• Lack of solutions from local stakeholders, lack of incentives and coordinated action plans

• Conflicts short term gain and long term priorities

  1. Monitor patterns & trends, establish tree nurseries and biodiversity corridors
  2. Collaborate with universities, local institutions and key community members for community-based forest management
  3. Engagement with schools, development of curriculum and test of experiential Forest restoration program
  4. Community workshops for alternative income business model development

  1. Restoration research, including framework species selection, nursery set up, forest monitoring
  2. Drone aerial surveys to inform Forest cover expansion and biodiversity corridor establishment via community planting campaigns
  3. Agroecological models for holistic food security and traditional Ecological knowledge revival
  4. Ethical carbon-offsetting program with regional and international organizations to finance the project and secure alternative livelihoods
  5. Integration of the program in Education, Eco-tourism and citizen science, including program development for schools, labelled program for ecotourism and educative tools for citizens.
  6. Online and offline project promotion and insights sharing through active communication to all stakeholders from policy makers to scientists and civil society

SEAGONG

a community-based seagrass and dugong conservation initiative

Set up a community-based sea grass and dugong conservation initiative in the Andaman region, safeguarding food security and resilience in vulnerable Andaman coastal communities in a changing climate.

  • Economy based on unsustainable fishing and intensive tourism practices compromised by global pandemic
  • Lack of education from local stakeholders, lack of incentives and coordinated action plans
  • Conflicts short term gain and long term priorities, problem

  1. Monitor patterns & trends, establish seagrass nurseries and increase seagrass cover
  2. Set up framework with university and local partners Training material development 
  3. Engagement with schools, development of curriculum and test of experiential seagrass conservation program
  4. Community workshops for alternative income business model development.

  1. Participatory Design of conservation areas 
  2. Technical expertise, including nursery facility set up, seagrass monitoring methodological tools development & training,
  3. Seagrass cover expansion
  4. Business models start up from inclusive ideation workshop to implementation with 3 local communities, 
  5. Integration of the program in Education, Eco-tourism and citizen science, including program development for schools, labelled program for ecotourism and educative tools for citizens.
  6. Online and offline project promotion and insights sharing through active communication to all stakeholders from policy makers to scientists and civil society.

MAN-CORE

Community based mangrove ecological restoration

Initiating and coordinating a regional community-based mangrove restoration effort geared towards increased social ecological resilience.

• Co-design, through participatory methodologies, of mangrove conservation areas co-managed by communities

• Technical capacity building and leadership related to mangrove nursery establishment, in situ propagation and monitoring and biodiversity assessment

• Alternative livelihood co-design, participatory assessment of market needs, and financial plans

  1. framework with local partners. Research material development. Initial mapping & monitoring
  2. Nursery set up Ecological diagnostic in selected sites and restoration strategy definition
  3. Engagement with schools, development of curriculum and test of experiential mangrove conservation program
  4. Community workshops for alternative income business model development.

  1. developing SoPs for mangrove ecological restoration focusing on
    connectivity restoration ecosystem functions natural regeneration
  2.  building seed banks and nurseries to support the implementation of large
    scale mangrove cover expansion informed by our restoration protocol and
    supporting our carbon offsetting program
  3. Co-development and contextualization of an Experiential Mangrove Ecology
    & Restoration school curriculum grounded in communities local knowledge
    in collaboration with local environmental groups and local schools
  4. Engaging will community champions and various stakeholders across the
    institutional landscape to enable lasting community ownership of the issue.

REEF

Community-based coral reef ecosystem restoration in Southern Thailand’s Andaman region

Initiating and coordinating a regional community-based coral reef restoration and sustainable fisheries effort geared towards increased social-ecological resilience.

• Develop practical diagnostic tool and reef restauration protocols for adapted and contextualized community-based reef restoration,

• Establish a network of collaborative partners using the restoration protocols towards region-wide reef expansion and ecological restoration

• Develop experiential education material and professional trainings for local schools and community members willing to acquire new skills

  1. Governmental and Non-governmental Institutional partnership established
  2. Nursery set up Ecological diagnostic in selected sites and restoration strategy definition.
  3. Engagement with schools, development of curriculum and test of experiential coral conservation program
  4. Fishing community workshops for alternative income business model development.

  1. Research design development for optimal reef restoration through improved coral propagation techniques
  2. in situ coral nurseries creation and co-design of conservation areas through participatory mapping with local fishing communities
  3. Develop experiential education curriculum offered to local schools and learning centers as well as build community-based instruments used towards citizen science
  4. Engage with fishing communities to co-design sustainable fishing practices and resource management plans based on alternative livelihoods and win-win synergies towards financial, social and natural capital enhancement

WAST-ED

Integrated waste management & circularity education.

leading regional integrated waste management and circular economy in Krabi province

• Developing an integrated waste management system and circularity education curriculum to be implemented with schools and key learning center

• Improving sorting systems and infrastructure, involving multiple actors across institutions and social organisations at different level

• Optimising disposal options towards efficient recycling or reusing or complete destruction, including operationalising an efficient composting system

  1. Creation of a community-based learning and development center
  2. Organizing awareness building & public consultation events and fostering partnerships
  3. Implement a pilot investigation of sorting, collection, disposal and redistribution system
  4. Develop workshop

    and educational

    material for schools

    and businesses

  1. Research on plastic pollution to catalogue most commonly found items, identify provenance/production and identify pathways for proper disposal
  2. Improving sorting systems and infrastructure, involving multiple actors across institutions and social organizations at multiple levels.
  3. Identifying best disposal options towards efficient recycling or reusing or complete destruction, including operationalizing an efficient composting system
  4. organization of events, campaigns and communication material for awareness building and momentum creation
  5. working with the governor office to develop laws towards drastically reducing single use plastic consumption
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