Community Participation Projects, Social Marketing and the Role of Local NGOs

Raising the level of participation in environmental conservation by the local communities has been a key objective of the PAP component. This has been addressed through the involvement of local NGOs in Community Participation Projects (CPPs). Seventeen CPPs have been funded in seven countries. Many of the activities undertaken directly support the SAP components.




Social Marketing Assessment :.

Experience shows that the design and implementation of an integrated marketing approach ¾ one that merges communication, education and training ¾ will have a gradual but sustainable impact on the perception of target audiences. The process is best understood as being one of knowledge dissemination or information disclosure. However, in order to ensure that this knowledge is well-received, preliminary groundwork is imperative. The cornerstone of this groundwork is the social assessment survey from which the administrators of a marketing plan acquire a better understanding of the target communities and determine how the promotion of environment-oriented values would be perceived by the different stakeholders.

As such, PERSGA conducted a social marketing survey of the RSGA Region from the 30th of July to the 27th of September 2001 in order to identify the ways and means to:

  • Convince local communities that belief, attitude, and conviction towards positive environmental changes are not only possible but can also be beneficial both in the present and future

  • Motivate people, rally their support, and provide them with the necessary participation channels

The goals of the Assessment were two-fold: 1) to carry out a region-wide social assessment survey, and 2) develop an appropriate social marketing strategy for PERSGA based on the survey appraisal ¾ an action plan that is well-aligned with the needs of the affected communities.

The research team for the survey was composed of a social marketing consultant and a micro grant expert who travelled to three of the seven member countries together (Yemen, Sudan, Somaliland) where they were joined by the national programme coordinator (NPC) for that country. The social marketing assessment was then continued in the remaining four PERSGA countries (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Djibouti) to complete the fieldwork. Detailed interview meetings were held with high environment public officials, middle management, NGOs, private business representatives and key media actors. These groups were identified beforehand as the likely actors in three essential social target audiences: the decision makers, the stakeholders, and the media motivators.

Capacity Building and Training:

A regional workshop was held at the Dana Reserve (2002) in collaboration with the GEF Small Grants Programme in Jordan for 18 representatives involved in implementing the CPPs. The participants were trained on the financial issues related to the grant agreements, the implementation of CPPs and how to prepare reports according to the format required by the GEF Small Grants Programme. A manual has now been prepared that provides procedures and guidelines for the management and implementation of the CPPs . 


Success story

Following a CPP targeted at the Saudi Boy Scouts Society, PERSGA entered into an agreement with the Scouts organization to carry out several public awareness activities. The Boy Scouts Society ran three public awareness raising activities during the summer 2003 to coincide with the Jeddah Shopping Festival. The work was done so well that the Scout team responsible for carrying out these activities was awarded second prize in the Ford Cars Agency Environmental Competition and the scout leader collected the award in Dubai in October.

A summary of the CPPs’ are provided below:
Community Participation Projects







Conservation of Lobster Stocks

To replace the destructive fishing gear (gill nets) used by artisanal fishermen to catch rock lobsters with traps.

1. Capacity building of local NGO in project management.

2. Manufacture of lobster traps.

3. Distribution of lobster traps, including a revolving loan system and public awareness.

4. Establishment of an ecotourism site.

Artisanal fishermen of Mukalla, Yemen.

Friends of the Environment Society - Shuhair


Aden Bird Monitoring Unit

To protect wetland areas and to preserve the habitats of migrating birds.

1. Capacity building of local NGO in project management.

2. Declaration of site as bird sanctuary.

3. Public awareness campaign to promote lagoons and wetlands.

4. Infrastructure at bird watching site.

Aden local community.

Mabaret Aden Society


Assessment of Fishing Community in Relation to Coastal Development and Fishery Status

To conserve and manage fish resources and their habitats.

1. Socio-economic assessment study.

2. Training of fish enumerators.

3. Raised awareness among fishermen.

4. Framework for fishing permit system.

5. Establishment of a catch/effort data collection unit.

All users of living marine resources especially artisanal fishermen.

University of Jordan, Marine Science Station, Aqaba


Marine Park Visitor Centre

To reduce the adverse effects on the marine environment of human activities by promoting a better understanding of the value and fragility of its resources.

1. Provision of equipment.

2. Production and distribution of printed materials, brochures on facilities and regulations.

3. Project publicity through the media.

4. Private sector initiatives.

General public, Aqaba.

The Aqaba Marine Park


Promoting Marine Ecotourism

To promote marine conservation through a public awareness programme.

1. Deliver a training programme on ecotourism to target groups.

2. Capacity building for NGO.

3. Prepare a ‘Code of ethics for action’.

Local community (Aqaba) and foreign tourists.

Friends of the Earth, Amman


Community Management of Dungonab MPA

To provide assistance to the local community to use natural resources in a sustainable manner and improve livelihoods through involvement in community-centred activities.

1. Women acquire new skills in fish processing.

2. Meeting room built.

3. Public latrines in village.

4. Availability of medicines in village.

5. Rehabilitation of fishing boats.

6. Socio-economic study on ice factory feasibility.

Local community in Dungonab Bay.



Mangrove Forest Conservation

Conservation and renewal of marine resources through public awareness and re-planting of mangroves.

1. Raised awareness of conservation needs of marine resources (mangroves, turtles, sharks).

2. Assessment, meeting, and workshop leading to a management plan for natural resources.

3. Mangrove plantation and rehabilitation.

Coastal communities of NE Somalia, especially fishing communities.

The Marine Team (NE Somalia)


Translation of Environmental Knowledge into the Somali Language

To provide environmental information to the Somali people in their own language to empower them to contribute towards improving their living standards.

1. Capacity building of NGO.

2. New environmental education materials translated and distributed.

3. Monthly environmental Dhambal newsletter.

Coastal communities of NE Somalia.

Dan-Dor, (NE Somalia)


Beach Sanitation and Greening

To improve the sanitation situation on town beaches by establishing a garbage collection system and planting of trees.

1. Selection and construction of garbage collection sites.

2. Raised local awareness of the situation.

3. Greening of the beach area by planting 300 trees.

Urban community of Bosaso, NE Somalia.

Bosaso Town Municipality


Protection of Mangroves and Turtles in the Eastern Coast of NW Somalia

To conserve the mangroves and turtles along the eastern coast of NW Somalia.

1. Raised awareness in the local communities of the value of their natural resources.

2. Educational and A/V materials.

3. A local management plan for natural resources.

4. Mangrove rehabilitation and plantation.

Coastal communities of NW Somalia.



Translation of Environmental Knowledge into the Somali Language

To provide environmental information to the Somali people in their own language to empower them to contribute towards improving their living standards.

1. Capacity building of NGO.

2. New environmental education materials translated and distributed.

3. Publication of environmental articles in the local newspapers.

Coastal communities of NW Somalia.



Protection of Mangroves in Saad ad Din and Aibat Islands in NW Somalia

To conserve mangroves and turtles in the proposed MPA area in Somalia.

1. Raised community awareness of the value of mangroves, turtles and sharks.

2. A management plan for natural resources.

3. Rehabilitation and planting of mangroves.

Coastal communities, especially fishermen.



Sustaining and Maintaining the Shark Stocks along the Djiboutian Coast

To maintain the shark stocks by raising awareness among the local fishermen about sustainable fishing methods and tools, and to introduce environmentally-friendly fishing gear.

Training on shark preparation methods;

Capacity building within the organization.

Local fishing communities

Al-Biri Organization


Comprehensive Public Awareness

To raise awareness of stakeholders to ensure effective participation in conservation plans at proposed MPA sites


Coastal stakeholders

Women’s Association NGO


Conservation of Marine Turtles

To preserve stocks of marine turtles and collect essential data on their present status in territorial waters.



Al-Biri Organization


Enhance and Develop the Environmental Awareness and Knowledge of the Saudi Boy Scouts Society

Building public awareness



Boy Scouts Society