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  Success Story 3  
  The Green Movement catalyzes community responses to coastal eco-system damage  
  Preserving lagoon eco-systems by civil society organizations are as old as civil organization itself. It is also the most badly implemented area of civil action. So much so that civil pundits and even larger organizations are calling this type of intervention a completely useless exercise. We beg to differ.
  With funding from the IUCN we responded to damaged eco-systems in a 9 lagoon system in the Panama area in 2007 and justifiably, it was called “the best civil response in Asia based on small grants available through the Mangroves for Future program of the IUCN. Clearly understanding the required modalities of how to trigger communities to look after natural resources critical to their livelihoods and lives, the movement extended its response in this area through a concerted effort to regenerate damaged mangroves in Kalpitiya where many other organizations had failed – and failed miserably.
  Our efforts were different in that we did not act as external agents trying to bring outside support to directly impact the enhancement of natural resources. Rather, we excited the communities living in these areas to the possible rewards of doing precisely that and the results were, to put it simply, phenomenal. In the short span of two years, the exercise has yielded not only a stronger mangrove density but also encouraged the villagers to act as watchdogs preventing the destruction of these vital resources for their fishing and cottage industry livelihoods. For us, there is the quite satisfaction of knowing that when we say “community owned, community driven” – we are not spouting strategic aid-market rhetoric for the sake of project funding, nice pictures and fancy reports but rather, because we know the means, the mechanisms and the processes that will ensure that communities take charge of their own lives and their own resources.
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Last updated: 06 June, 2016