About Ocean Witness

Our Story

In many parts of the world, the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems is severely lacking, affecting coastal communities and their livelihoods. Simultaneously, these communities and small-scale fishers have served as traditional stewards of coastal ecosystems for hundreds of years. Let’s listen to their stories and find out about their solutions. 

What is Ocean Witness?

Ocean Witness is a collection of real stories told by real people: the Ocean Witnesses. These are men and women that are dedicated to the preservation of oceans. In particular, Ocean Witness shares stories from coastal communities members or supporters having a leading role in marine conservation. 

The Ocean Witness platform is part of a global WWF Initiative that aims to accelerate coastal community-led conservation by developing a global movement in support of coastal communities. 

The challenge

Coastal communities and small-scale fishers have served as traditional stewards of coastal ecosystems for hundreds of years. Their survival is inextricably linked to the health of these ecosystems and very often they have no or little alternative sources for livelihoods. Recognizing, protecting and securing legitimate tenure rights to marine resources, as well as ensuring that indigenous and local knowledge is incorporated into decision making, requires sustained engagement with decision makers.

Our approach

Now more than ever, we need a global movement of empowered coastal community networks, civil society organizations and relevant institutions that can together accelerate the implementation of successful coastal community-led conservation at the appropriate scale. 

The Coastal Communities Initiative, a coalition of international and local organisations, will spearhead that movement and deliver significant benefits to 12 million highly dependent people through improved management of 4 million km2 of critical coastal ecosystems, vital to the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable coastal people.

Contributing to creating such movement, Ocean Witness shares inspiring stories from real people, in particular coastal community leaders, passionate about healthy oceans and sustainable livelihoods. Real stories make problems – as well as solutions – more tangible and bring people together to jointly work towards a sustainable management of coastal ecosystems all around the world.

If you have some kind of power in your community, use it to make a difference. If you’re a professor, teach. If you’re a community leader, create awareness. The most important thing is to never give up.
Ariana Freire, Ecuador

Behind Ocean Witness

Ocean Witness is part of the WWF Coastal Communities Initiative. Would you like to receive more information about this global initiative? Please get in touch: communitiesacai@wwfmedpo.org.

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