Instructor: Ayana Johnson
Some of the most successful examples of ocean conservation are being driven by small eco-resorts with attached no-take zones that sit at the core of larger Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These businesses are demonstrating a profitable, market-based model for protecting marine resources, as well as a development model that helps to move local economies away from unsustainable extractive practices towards sustainable methods of job, income and skills creation. While there are a number of these enterprises globally, the field is highly fragmented with little to no collaboration. There is extremely high variance in the quality and profitability of these models, and no research to document best practices or explore the scalability of this approach. This project is the first step in helping to fill these gaps by:
- Examining and codifying the most successful eco-resorts within MPAs (or with attached no-take zones);
- Creating a blueprint that distills the complex processes for setting up successful eco- resorts, into tangible, methodical steps that can be repeated; and
- Investigating and presenting a set of options to significantly scale these models, including a certification for eco-resorts that follow best practices.