The Reef Resilience Training was an introduction to communication and facilitation for me and provided an excellent foundation for me to refer to. I still find myself using and building upon the skills and framework I learned from this training. – Seleni Cruz
During the training, Seleni worked with experts to develop key messages for the RZ Expansion Project and discussed methods to use when communicating with stakeholders. In addition, Seleni connected with participants from the training who shared their challenges and successes in management which introduced her to new approaches to coral reef management.
After the training, Seleni was awarded a seed funding grant from the Network to support implementation of the stakeholder consultation series as part of the first phase for the National Replenishment Expansion Project. With the seed funding grant, Seleni also created a map to identify potential areas for seaweed and sea cucumber farming as an economic alternative for fishermen. Seleni applied the communication and facilitation skills she learned from the Reef Resilience training into her work on the RZ Expansion Project by creating a targeted communication strategy and developing key messages to use during stakeholder consultation meetings. She also used message development tools from the training to create clear and concrete messages about how the RZ Expansion Project can benefit this stakeholder group.
Successes and Next Steps
Seleni used the seed funding grant to hold total of ten consultation meetings, over a two months, where she rolled out her communication strategy. She used key messages she created during the training when presenting to deep sea and sport/tour fishermen on the importance of MPAs and RZs and revealed sites considered for RZ expansion. Before the consultation series, stakeholders were concerned that the RZ Expansion Project would impact their livelihood and were guarded when it came to discussing their local fishing sites. As the meetings progressed, the group’s understanding of habitat protection and fisheries management improved.
The training helped me articulate key messages to use during stakeholder consultations and provided helpful skills on how to facilitate conversations with fisher folk which was a big component of the work I was doing. - Seleni Cruz