A multisectoral approach bolstering resilience for people and planet

Garth Cripps and Blue Ventures
Published: 11 August 2021
Last edited: 11 August 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inter-connectedness of environmental and human health. This is acknowledged in many recovery strategies, including the WHO’s first prescription for a healthy, green recovery from the pandemic, which is to “Protect and preserve the source of human health: Nature.” This awareness underpins a growing understanding that our most pressing global challenges require multidimensional, multisectoral solutions.


Blue Ventures recognises the links between poor health, poverty, environmental degradation and vulnerability to climate change. In response to these interconnected challenges, we have developed a holistic approach to conservation, integrating community health services with local marine management and coastal livelihood initiatives. This approach creates operational efficiencies and synergies that make us highly effective at achieving health and conservation goals. It has also enabled our partner communities to better navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.


East and South Africa
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Open sea
Disaster risk reduction
Ecosystem services
Fisheries and aquaculture
Food security
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Health and human wellbeing
Legal & policy frameworks
Local actors
Protected and conserved areas governance
Sustainable livelihoods
Erratic rainfall
Loss of Biodiversity
Ocean warming and acidification
Sea level rise
Tropical cyclones / Typhoons
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Physical resource extraction
Lack of technical capacity
Poor governance and participation
Lack of food security
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with associations


Madagascar | Mozambique, India, Indonesia


  • Poor community health, limiting communities’ ability to engage in conservation
  • Poverty and heavy reliance upon natural resources, with a lack of alternative livelihoods
  • Overfishing and the collapse of marine ecosystems
  • Weak national public health systems
  • Limited community ability to respond to shocks and stressors (such as pandemics or extreme weather events


  • Local communities in the area of implementation
  • Neighboring communities, and coastal communities throughout Madagascar through knowledge sharing and capacity building

How do the building blocks interact?

Through listening to communities, addressing community needs in a holistic way, including ensuring that they enjoy good health and have access to financial resources, communities are better able to address longer term goals such as the sustainable use of marine resources. Investing in building community capacity for marine resource management means that those most reliant on those resources are enabled to manage them, for the benefit of people and planet.


  • The health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were mitigated
  • Improvement in the health of communities
  • Greater ability to earn a livelihood and engage with non-extractive livelihood opportunities
  • Greater food security
  • Greater sense of empowerment
  • Greater community ability to engage in natural resource management

Contributed by

Vik Mohan Blue Ventures