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close this bookParticipatory Methods in Community-based Coastal Resource Management - Volume 1 - Introductory Papers (IIRR, 1998)
close this folderCoastal communities living with complexity and crisis in search for control
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCoastal communities
View the documentComplexity
View the documentCrisis
View the documentWho owns this sea?
View the documentCoastal resource management
View the documentCommunity-based coastal resource management

Community-based coastal resource management

Community-based coastal resource management (CBCRM) is a process of involving local communities in managing the coastal resources upon which they depend. As more and more users of resources are directly included in management decisions and the scale of responsibility becomes local, the "ownership" of responsibility increases and the compliance to rules increases.

CBCRM is a movement to address the problems through more local control of resource management. As CBCRM becomes more sophisticated, it addresses the issues of coastal communities in a more holistic way. CBCRM is a conscious effort for the "community" to have control.

A perspective of sustainable livelihoods rather than a more restricted "alternative livelihoods" approach encompasses social, cultural and political dimensions impacting peoples' well-being in addition to those which are considered economic and environmental. If people are to take responsibility for management, the benefits have to be obvious, real, equitable and not result in unacceptable trade-offs. A holistic assessment is essential. Most of the degraded ecosystems can be recovered. Control of use and abuse will bring back the productive potential of the coastal zone, and coastal communities, with care and concern, can improve their well-being and that of their children.

The sea has sustained people for a long, long time.
We have mistreated this gift.
It no longer provides what it could.
If we treat it well, the sea will respond and coastal communities may live "sustainably" again.

Prepared by Gary F. Newkirk