Yet despite being key to solving challenges such as overfishing and natural habitat loss as well as poverty and hunger, their contributions are still undervalued, underreported and often overlooked in policies. As coastal ecosystems face increasing threats from human activity and climate change, we must do more, faster.
To amplify and accelerate the uptake of locally-led solutions and redirect mainstream finance into sustainable and restorative development pathways, we need to start with a people-centred approach. Through the Accelerating Coastal Community-Led Conservation Initiative, WWF and partners are working with an international network of fishers, community associations and local authorities in Asia-Pacific and other regions to:
- Create partnerships and learning hubs to enhance local knowledge and build expertise on coastal conservation, as well as expanding those solutions to 200 new communities across priority seascapes
- Advocate policies that recognise communities’ role in the management of coastal resources and unlock funding for sustainable development of coastal communities
- Investing in a sustainable "blue" economy to enhance livelihoods while restoring ecosystems and building resilience to climate change, especially among women and youth.
- Restoring species essential to food security in coastal communities, such as molluscs, crustaceans and reef fish
- Building capacity and strengthening networks for gender inclusivity in small scale fisheries management to enhance the leadership and decision-making roles of women.