MCCAP Project Component 2

COMPONENT 2:Promotion of viable alternative livelihoods for affected users of the reef in the areas impacted by project activities


2.1. Project Outcomes and Indicators

The project outcomes under Component 2 are as follows:

• Direct Project beneficiaries who adopted alternative livelihoods
The project outcomes will be monitored with the following outcome indicators:
• Alternative livelihoods subprojects elaborated and financed, with 30% of beneficiaries being women; and
• Persons participating in training based on training needs assessment (30% of trainees are women).

2.2. Subcomponent Activities

The subcomponent activities under Component 2 are grouped into four categories. Subcomponent activities that are eligible for financing will be implemented over a five-year period. All activities are designed as multi-year activities, to be implemented in three, four or five years. The subcomponent activities below are listed under each category.

2.1.1. Community Mobilization for viable Alternative Livelihoods. Affected community members will be supported to mobilize themselves in order to identify viable livelihoods activities in a participatory manner. The approach will help to ensure that there is equity in the process and that all affected users including vulnerable groups, such as women, elderly and indigenous peoples, have the opportunity to become involved in and benefit from alternative livelihoods assistance being provided by the Project. Taking this approach will acknowledge culturally appropriate decision-making practices while supporting small fishing communities to develop their capacity to assess their own needs, and design community level actions and solutions in the future. This process will be facilitated by a community development expert engaged by the project. The project will assist community members to mobilize themselves through:

  1. Community needs assessments (Year 1 to 2) – Initial meetings will be held, in accordance to the guidelines in the project’s Culturally Appropriate Participation Plan (IPP), and as a follow-up action to the field research carried out in 2012 and consultations in 2014 to collect qualitative data for the project’s social assessment. Their objective will be to create an awareness of the goals of the project in terms of climate change adaptation and to discuss the opportunities for the development of alternative livelihoods for affected users. This will be followed by needs assessment workshops to facilitate the direct engagement of community members, including female members of the fisher households, in devising and developing ideas for potential alternative livelihoods activities. This process will assist community members to map out their own resources and assets, identify and diagnose constraints to local social and economic development from household to community level, and identify required management and technical skills. The main outputs of this process will be the: a) establishment of a common vision on how to pursue alternative livelihood strategies, b) active engagement of community members to ensure buy-in for the sub-projects, c) a strong gender dimension by focusing on fisher households and seeking to engage both men and women from the onset during initial consultations and putting measures in place to mitigate possible gender-related impacts related to Component 1, as specified in the project’s Social Assessment summary within the IPP d) the identification of potential business ventures and investment opportunities. These will then be prioritized based on viability and other collectively established criteria.
  2. Participatory sub-project planning workshops (Years 1 to 4) – The second step in the participatory planning process will be the further development of the prioritized subproject ideas and potential opportunities and the completion and submission of the sub-project proposal to the PIAG. This process will establish subproject goals and objectives, identify the main activities and inputs, identify the target beneficiaries and develop a preliminary budget. In-kind contribution will be required from sub-project beneficiaries to ensure commitment. The sub-project concept note will then be submitted to the Project Implementing Agency Group for consideration and approval through an established process.

2.1.2. Business planning for economic alternatives and diversification sub-projects. The Project will support the development of community-based business ventures that can leverage the opportunity cost of fishing and provide an alternative livelihood opportunity. The process of developing these ventures and alternative livelihood strategies will be participatory and will be underlined by equity and community driven decision-making. The business ventures will be developed through a guided process as each venture will have a business plan to support the development of products and services all the way through to distribution and service delivery. The process to achieve this will naturally be starting with mobilizing affected community members to ensure that they have the space and opportunity to consider the options available to them. The activities to achieve this are as follows:

  1. Development of business plans (Years 1 to 5) – Business plans will be developed by community members with the support of a specialist once a technical evaluation of the subproject proposal submitted has been done by the PIAG. Development of business plans involves providing technical assistance to subproject proponents in order to get their alternative livelihoods ventures off the ground. Included in this process will be identification of information on resources and raw materials to be used as inputs, organizational plan, operating plan, financial plan, and marketing plan. The business plan is essential in various aspects: a) to commercialize the production; b) to rationalize the management structure; c) to develop an efficient operation; d) establish roles and responsibilities for participating members; e) to understand the risks and have a plan to deal with them; f) to identify their niche and explore new markets; and g) to inform investors and attract additional investment into the production. Market opportunities that directly encourages sustainably managed fishery through eco-labeling and certification will be actively sought and developed as this is now a viable business reality in the industry both locally and globally. Locally, this will be tied to the tourism industry and collaboration will be pursued with the Belize Tourism Board on their certification initiatives under their Quality Assurance Programme.
  2. Marketing support for business ventures (Years 1 and 5) – The project will place an emphasis on assistance in marketing for each approved business plan. A marketing expert will assist in the identification and development of the potential niche markets, development of marketing materials, advising on packing and product and service quality, and identification of potential business partners/distributors where possible. Alternative livelihoods activities will be undertaken at scale in order to ensure maximum returns and benefits for the communities and the environment. The marketing expert will also ensure that each business venture is registered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in order to ensure continuous business support over the long term.

2.1.3. Skills training to facilitate the coastal communities’ transition to alternative livelihoods. The project will provide training necessary to build the skills of fishers and community members to transition to alternative livelihoods, based on training needs identified during the community mobilization phase. This will be done by focusing on skill sets that supports small business development and individual marketable skills. The types of training to be provided include:

  1. Training in business development (Years 2 to 4) – A training program will be established for beneficiaries under the project. This is to ensure that such participants develop the skills necessary to sustain and maintain the development of and transition to alternative livelihoods. This includes training in financial literacy, business management, production, marketing, quality control and financial management. Beneficiaries whose subprojects are already under implementation or have an approved sub-project are eligible to participate in the training activities. These trainings will be coordinated by the PIAG.
  2. Training in marketable skills (Years 2 to 4) – Training support for the attainment of marketable and employable skills for individuals will also be done in order to support those who wish to transition to full time employment in other sectors or self-employment. Training in marketable individual skills sets will be mainly in the areas of: a) mari-culture; b) eco-tourism, d) agriculture and c) vocational education. These four areas were selected to complement the current social, human and physical assets of the local communities. Many are already engaged in livelihood strategies in these areas as they attempt to diversify their own livelihoods and as such the project will be building on existing knowledge and experience and will not necessarily have to recreate existing social capital that supports longstanding fishing activities. A diagnostic study of fishing communities in CARICOM concluded that in Belize almost of half of the income of fishing families are derived from activities other than fishing . The training under this section is aimed at supporting: a) independently-operated profitable enterprises, and b) employment or self-employment for individuals. For training in mari-culture, the project will collaborate directly with the Fisheries Department. Some of the training under eco-tourism in areas such as tour guiding, will be carried out in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board’s Training Unit. The Institute for Technical and Vocational Education (ITVET) will assist in providing training for vocational activities and also assist in job placements for trainees .

This component of the Project will support the Fisheries Department’s National roll out of its Manage Access program which is geared at regulating the open access nature of its Fisheries and employing the rights based approach to fisheries Management. Consequently fishers in the Southwater Caye and Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserves will be granted fishing access based on their traditional fishing in these areas. This will ensure that communities who have depended on these areas for their livelihoods are not marginalized by the regulation of access to the national fisheries and to promote co-management of the resources and voluntary compliance of the Fisheries Regulations by the fishers.

2.1.4. Sub-project mechanism for community-based business ventures. The Project will provide funding support for viable and sustainable community-based business ventures that have approved business plans. The sub-project mechanism will be developed to provide financial resources as initial capital investment to support the start-up of business ventures identified by the affected community members. Given the fact that livelihoods and displacement support is a restorative and mitigating measure, the funds will not be competitive but rather targeted to those adversely affected by the management regimes put in place for the MPAs. Other coastal communities that do not currently appear as affected communities in current MPA management plans are also eligible to participate if it is established during project implementation that they are indeed affected by the MPA and replenishment zones expansion and enforcement activities of Component  1. The following sections outline the structure of the mechanism and how it is expected to operate.

2.3. Target Communities

The communities that will benefit from project activities are those directly connected to and buffering the targeted MPAs, namely:

1) Consejo Village, 2) Corozal Town, 3) Copper Bank Village, 4) Chunox Village, 5) Sarteneja Village, 6) Belize City, 7) Dangriga Town, 8) Hopkins Village, 9) Sittee River Village, 10) Riversdale Village, 11) Seine Bight Village, and 12) Placencia Village.

Counterpart Contribution

The Government of Belize and NGOs will provide in-kind contribution totaling $0.368 million. For subproject grants, beneficiaries will be required to contribute a minimum of 25% matching from sources other than the MCCAP. This could be in- kind contribution, cash funding from other sources, or a combination of both.