Millions of people across the globe rely on marine and coastal ecosystems for their livelihoods: food, employment and their general wellbeing. However, the marine environment is under immense pressure from the multiple – and often conflicting – needs of the people who use it. In Southeast Asia, where marine activities are important contributors to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), marine spatial planning involving coordinated decision-making has been highlighted as a key requirement for a sustainable future.
Through academic-stakeholder collaborations, community co-creation and co-delivery, the GCRF Blue Communities programme will support the development, implementation and ongoing management of initiatives that promote the sustainable use of marine resources by multiple users whilst protecting fragile marine ecosystems and supporting the livelihoods of the people in these coastal communities.
Led by the University of Plymouth's Professor Mel Austen
of the School of Biological and Marine Sciences, Blue Communities is funded from the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the total value of which is £1.5 billion. The delivery partner for Blue Communities is UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).