Diving & Marine Conservation for AOW and above Diving & Marine Conservation for AOW and above Southern Leyte, Philippines Coral Cay Conservation
This is your chance to improve your species ID skills and contribute to the creation of marine protected areas in the heart of the coral triangle.
Diving & Marine Conservation for Dive Trainees Southern Leyte, Philippines Coral Cay Conservation
This is your chance to learn how to dive or improve your skills whilst contributing to the establishment and assessment of Marine Protected Areas.

6 Project reviews of Coral Cay Conservation

Project Details

Coral Cay Conservation is an award winning NGO that specialises in the organisation of community based coral reef and tropical forest expeditions.

By joining a CCC expedition you will get to learn how to dive, or improve your skills in some of the most beautiful diving locations in the world. We will take you through a challenging but enjoyable skills development programme, which will give you the skills needed to join our research teams, and collect data on the health of coral reefs.  The data you collect will be vital in helping us to make informed management recommendations to the local communities where we work. You will be working at the forefront of conservation.

Who are we and what do we do?

Since our establishment in 1986, Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) have worked throughout the world helping rural communities in developing countries to sustainably manage their marine and forest resources. We only work in areas where we are invited by the local government and community, this ensures that we are welcomed and sets a strong foundation for the education work with the local communities, and the recommendations that we offer. 

Mission Statement 

"Providing resources to help sustain livelihoods and alleviate poverty through the protection, restoration and management of coral reefs and tropical forests"

During it's history CCC has worked all around the world including Belize, Cambodia, Egypt, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Montserrat, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand and Tobago. 

The outcome of CCC's assistance depends on the location but much of our work is focused on the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). MPA legislation seeks to conserve areas of rich biodiversity by restricting human access, this can be through fishing or diving restrictions. CCC's research teams, which are made up of staff, volunteers and scholars,  collect data on the health of coral reef ecosystems. The data collected is then analysed, and CCC work with the government and community to create a management plan for their local reef, that is a balance between protecting the fishing communities livelihood and promoting sustainability and conservation.

CCC work to a three-tiered approach involving scientific research, capacity building and raising awareness. Each element is critical to CCC’s success.

Scientific Research

CCC relies on the ‘citizen science’ approach, meaning that anyone is able to join us and complete training that will allow them to collect meaningful data. The reefs on which we work are either existing MPAs which require assessment to establish whether they are correctly placed/being effectively managed, or potential sites for MPA development. 

Capacity Building

Building on local capacity is of great importance as we need to make sure that when we move on the local communities can continue, and build on the foundations laid by CCC. In order to achieve this every month CCC welcomes local Filipino scholars on our sites for free four week expeditions, during which we take them through all of the diving and science training needed to evaluate coral reef health. In addition to this we hold teacher training sessions, which give local school leaders the skills needed to incorporate conservation into their lessons.

Raising Awareness

Whilst working in an area, CCC hold education sessions and presentations to ensure that the community are fully aware of, and understand, why we are working in their community and what we hope to achieve with their help. Our local Community Liaison Officer visits schools throughout the region taking the pupils through our Sea Stars Scheme (younger pupils) and Reef Rangers Scheme (older pupils), which teaches the students the importance of coral reefs and how they can help to protect them.

Where we work?

We run a maximum of three project sites at any one time. CCC currently have a marine and terrestrial site in Montserrat (the Caribbean), and a marine site in the Philippines. We will be completing our work in Montserrat at the end of August 2017, at which point we will focus wholly on the Philippines... until our next site opens! CCC only works in areas that are deemed to be safe to travel to by the FCO. 

Who are we looking for?

The question we get asked most often is 'can you describe a typical volunteer'? The answer is no, there really isn't one.  Our only requirements are that you are over 18, and able to pass our medical, other than that all we ask is that you are keen to learn. You don't need to have any prior science or dive training to join us, however, we often welcome marine biology graduates and diving instructors on site. Whether you are on your gap year, post retirement, taking a career break or thinking of changing careers, joining us is sure to be a stimulating, educational and enjoyable experience.

Why choose us?

By joining CCC you can have faith that the ecological marine data that you collect is absolutely vital to the conservation work that we are conducting in country. We are proud to state that our expeditions are not holidays, they are great fun but they require lots of effort and an eagerness to learn, but in return you can be sure that you will be working alongside like minded individuals, spending each day contributing to real worthwhile conservation efforts.We only work in areas where we are invited by the local government so you can rest assured knowing that you are wanted and needed.

You will become part of a team made up of staff, fellow volunteers and Filipino scholars. On successful completion of a four week stay with us you can walk away with practical survey experience and certifiable skills, including PADI, First Aid, and Reef Check training. In addition to this you will get to learn how to dive in some of the most stunning and ecologically diverse locations in the world, all whilst making lifelong friends. 

We are a small organisation but we consider this a strength! We ensure that by running a maximum of three sites at any one time we can give them the attention they deserve. We have detailed and concise safety arrangements in place to ensure that we can provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone on site, with detailed emergency plans and 24 hour operations cover in place, to respond swiftly and effectively if needed. 

The main focus of the project is on
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Tessa Dawson
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

Social Impact: Please provide more information on your social impact in general. What did you archive so far? Whom did you help? What is your social impact? Please write about the social impact of your social project (your organisation) and do not describe the social impact of individual volunteer programs. 

Some of our notable achievements include facilitating the establishment of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Belize, the Danjugan Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary for Negros in the Philippines, and Cambodia’s first large scale Marine Fisheries Management Area. 

We are very aware that there really isn't any point in carrying out any of the work that we do in country, unless we have the local community on board. In many of the areas where we work locals rely heavily on fish as their main source of protein and income, and it's very important that we take a balanced approach to ensure that the MPAs which we help to create don't have an excessive detrimental impact on the local people. This would only lead to hardship and low compliance to the MPA rules. In order to increase acceptance we carry out a community impact survey on arrival into a new area, and work with the local people to create an MPA which will be accepted and adhered to. 

Our scholarship scheme takes local people through a training program which gives them the knowledge and certifications to conduct MPA assessments. The scholarship scheme in the Philippines has been particularly successful with 24 scholars trained each year. Ex scholars have gone on to use their training to go further in their career path, set up their own green organisations and create their own education schemes.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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