|Participatory Methods in Community-based Coastal Resource Management - Volume 1 - Introductory Papers (IIRR, 1998)|
|Community-based coastal resource management|
Community-based coastal resource management (CBCRM), is a comprehensive strategy that seeks to address the multi- faceted issues affecting the coastal environment through the active and meaningful participation of coastal communities. More importantly, it seeks to address the core issue of open- access, with all its inefficient and iniquitous consequences, by strengthening the community's access and control over their resources.
Underlying the term "community-based" is the principle that primary resource users should also be the rightful managers of their resources. This makes it distinct from other natural resource management strategies which are either highly centralized or fail to involve communities who are directly dependent on the resource.
Experiences in many countries show that centralized management systems have not been very effective in managing coastal resources in a sustainable manner. As a result, many coastal communities have lost their sense of "ownership" and responsibility over their coastal areas. Through its various processes, CBCRM hopes to restore this sense of "ownership" and responsibility.
CBCRM is also a process through which coastal communities are empowered politically and economically so that they can assert and gain rightful access and management control over their coastal resources.
Ideally, the move to initiate such a process should come from the community itself. Given their disempowered situation, however, most communities lack the capacity to initiate the process of change by themselves. This, among other factors, has led outside agencies and organizations to facilitate the processes involved in CBCRM, including community organizing work.