Social Marketing Lite

Community event
Published: 22 July 2015
Last edited: 23 November 2022
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Social Marketing Lite builds social marketing capacity among Local Government Units in the Philippines to increase community engagement in MPA governance. It can be applied within one year and needs as little as 5,000 USD of financial support. By improving governance, the solution fosters well-functioning MPAs and thus climate change resilience of coastal ecosystems.


Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Ecosystem services
Protected and conserved areas governance
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of technical capacity
Sustainable development goals
SDG 14 – Life below water
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources




Lack of support and awareness of marine protected area benefits


Local communities and organizations, municipal alliances, and government entities

How do the building blocks interact?

Through a series of workshops with local government units and representatives of their alliances working in an MPA network, participants are trained in social marketing concepts and techniques (building block 1). In teams, they conduct a pre-campaign Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) Survey and correspondingly develop their own campaigns and complete a selection of campaign activities and materials in their respective communities (building block 2). These are implemented with funds from small grants (building block 3). Follow-up workshops provide technical support for the development of campaign materials with a special focus on climate change adaptation. Finally, the success of the campaigns is measured using a post-campaign KAP survey.


Social Marketing Lite increased community engagement in the governance of MPAs as a strategy for climate change adaptation. It raised awareness of the importance of MPAs, and facilitated community participation in coastal management activities.


On Suyac Island one can see the difference that Social Marketing Lite makes. The 1.8 hectare island with a population of 751 people is inhabited mainly by fisherfolk. Although the island has pristine mangrove resources, until lately the people of Suyac were not aware of their rich environment and its importance to people’s livelihood. They were unaware that some of their practices were environmentally destructive. They used to uproot mangroves or practiced dynamite fishing or fish poisoning. Along with the decision to establish eco-tourism on the island, Social Marketing Lite was introduced to trigger behavioral change. A people’s organisation composed of island residents was established to manage the emerging eco-park. Another activity that proved highly efficient on Suyac Island was the training of young children in mangrove protection, waste segregation, public speaking, and tour-guiding. Today, these young “eco-patrollers” act as advocates for coastal resource conservation on their home island.

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Rocky Sanchez Tirona Rare Philippines

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Rare Philippines