CORAL's Conservation in Action trainings serve as catalysts for effective action by facilitating the planning of and micro-funding for local reef conservation projects. The process of designing, coordinating, and executing community-based conservation projects empowers local communities and encourages a pioneering, grassroots approach.
Although we make a long-term commitment to each of our project sites, CORAL carefully limits the amount of technical and financial assistance it provides to guide individual projects. The benefit of limiting outside assistance is the emergence of local leadership and the prospect of long-term reef conservation sustainability in the destination. Ultimately, local communities must claim ownership of local initiatives. CORAL helps build organizational structure and capacity, which creates meaningful community involvement in coral reef conservation.
Improving the Value of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
In tandem with reducing the ill effects of marine tourism on coral reefs, CORAL is committed to promoting and assisting MPA management and effectiveness. Our ongoing consultation and advice bring a global perspective to local MPAs to ensure that each marine area is managed as efficiently as possible.
Our tools for building management capacity include MPA gap analysis studies, the development of MPA management plans, ocean zoning assistance, MPA business planning, and the socialization of new management plans and objectives among local businesses and residents. CORAL also helps reef managers institute such strategies as user fee systems, licensing and permits, and micro-financing and micro-lending programs. Combining proven techniques from our experience in sustainable tourism and community development, we communicate MPA management needs and build support for marine protected areas.
Providing Seed Funding through Microgrants
As we continue to aid MPA managers, tourism operators, and local residents by connecting them with available funding and the development of local revenue streams, CORAL also financially supports conservation projects and community initiatives with microgrants and seed money. These small grants lead to big accomplishments, and we are grateful to our generous members and funding partners who have made them possible.
Some of CORAL’s Project Accomplishments
Hawaii: Take a Bite out of Fish Feeding Campaign promotes awareness of the dangerous and unhealthy practice of fish feeding through the display of stickers and posters at local businesses.
Raja Ampat: Our hands-on engagement and cooperation-building led to a transparent and functional user fee system that is showing real results.
Mexico: A CORAL microgrant was used by the local tour operator association to produce a public service announcement video about the importance and benefits of the region's coral reefs.