Coast 4C, formerly Net-Works, has a vision to empower 22 million small-scale fishers to deliver thriving coastal communities and a healthy ocean. We build vibrant and resilient blue economies in marginalised coastal areas that benefit communities, commerce, conservation and climate by unlocking the power of the seaweed revolution and circular economy.
We are keen to join the ConservationNOW community because it aligns very strongly with our belief that there is hope and we can build a world where people and nature coexist. We are very much solutions driven. At the same time, we recognise that we are constantly faced with a barrage of negative and depressing information, and particularly so when many of the communities that we work with are suffering so much from the effects of COVID-19. We feel that by joining like-minded organisations through ConservationNOW we can surround ourselves with positivity that can help us through such times, we can learn a huge amount from the broader community, and we hope that sharing our experiences will benefit others too.
We are constantly being told that certain things are too difficult – for example, you can’t have community-based marine protected areas in the Philippines that are more than 50ha in size; you can’t prevent old fishing nets being discarded into the ocean because they are too difficult to clean and costly to process, or impoverished coastal communities are too poor to support conservation efforts.
We have demonstrated that none of those things is true, whether through having diverted 267 million metres of fishing nets from the ocean for recycling into carpet tiles to date, having set up six community-based marine protected areas with an average size of 800ha and more in the pipeline, or having 2,015 people in marginalised coastal communities contributing directly into their own Environment Funds within largely female-dominated savings groups to support their conservation actions such as installing solar panels on guardhouses to recharge torches for night-time enforcement. This is a message that we need to amplify and Conservation Optimism is doing an amazing job at bringing together those voices through ConservationNOW.