Community based approach

Published: 14 November 2015
Last edited: 24 October 2019

Community ‘buy-in’ for restoration activities is especially important in the case of dunes since there are many human threats to dune habitats. Encouraging a sense of ownership within not only the local community, but also the wider beach-going community, is the main strategy being used . This can be achieved through awareness-raising with the objective of socialising the vision for the coastal park, which in turn has the potential to reduce management issues. It is also useful to directly canvas the level of support for proposed interventions, ideally as part of the management planning exercise .

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Management planning
Scale of implementation
Local
Multi-national
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Implementation

Enabling factors

  1. Providing a range of activities to suit different demographics and interest groups. These include different versions of the dune restoration and maintenance activities themselves to suit different ages and abilities (examples include schools, corporate groups, volunteer organisations, and general working bees).
  2. Providing opportunities for groups outside the immediate community to become involved.
  3. Encouraging student and other research into aspects of the project including its effectiveness.

Lessons learned

The availability and enthusiasm of volunteers within the community (both individuals and groups) has been important to the project’s success. Overall, the working hypothesis is that a diversity of ‘buy-in points’ will return the best outcomes in terms of a community-based approach. Effective strategies need to provide participation opportunities to suit different groups within the wider community and also address the sustainability of key volunteer inputs. Ensuring that the main organisers are sufficiently resourced, and taking steps to reduce the likelihood of burn-out are both important. Having a succession strategy is another useful idea, and in practice can be achieved by making room for enthusiastic ‘new blood’ whenever the opportunity arises. This has the added benefit of sharing the workload around, and can be useful if opportunities arise to expand the project, in either scope or scale .

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