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My Future, My Oceans participants at Bebeladan village, El Nido, the Philippines (Photo: H. Almasco).

Success of CCRES tool replicated in El Nido


A pilot of My Future, My Oceans at El Nido in the Philippines has validated the use of the low-cost behaviour change tool outside of Indonesia.

The El Nido trial, which involved almost 100 women and targeted plastic waste collection, has produced statistically significant results for each of the 11 psychometric indicators assessed.

Villagers in the My Future, My Oceans group posted higher post-trial scores for attitudes and behaviours, including perceived plastic waste collection; problem solving skills and perceived responsibility for the environment.

“The results validate the My Future, My Oceans process for fostering sustainable behaviours in low-resource coastal households,” said research leader Erik Simmons, The University of Queensland.

“Once again, this process of behavioural diagnosis and behaviour change has empowered individuals to think and act in ways that lead to healthier families, happier lives and a cleaner environment.”

The My Future, My Oceans process comprises training of facilitators to deliver workshops, running of workshops to empower villagers, and the evaluation of outcomes. The process is supported by materials, including a project coordinator guidebook, facilitator handbook and participant workbook.

The research at El Nido was done in partnership with Ten Knots Development Corporation, which operates the El Nido Resorts. A group of students from Georgetown University, Washington DC, attending a Ten Knots summer internship program, was trained, with My Future, My Oceans trainer Paula Bradley facilitating the workshops. The research was coordinated by the CCRES Country Coordination Unit at The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Mariglo Laririt, Head of Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives at El Nido Resorts, and a member of the CCRES Technical Steering Committee said: “This activity provided a unique opportunity for our interns to dive head-first into applied philanthropic research. They assisted the CCRES researchers with data collection, community outreach, and logistical support.”

Enhancing the philanthropic research and community facilitation skills of these interns, as well as village leaders, government officials and Ten Knots staff, was a key objective of the partnership.

The week-long El Nido trial studied women from two villages – Bebeladan (intervention) and Teneguiban (control). Outcomes were measured directly prior to implementation and directly after.

The core psychological competencies and behaviours targeted were plastic waste collection; problem solving skills; goal setting; checking whether the fish participants consume are caught safely or by destructive methods; perceived responsibility for the state of the environment; satisfaction with life; attitudes to health; and perceived impact of actions on the environment.

In Indonesia, My Future, My Oceans was used to improve waste management in a village on Selayar. Shifts in human psychology and behaviour triggered by the process were sustained for four months after it was delivered.

My Future, My Oceans is a tool for local governments and NGOs to use to promote positive behaviours, including waste management, fishing practices and personal hygiene, in coastal communities.

My Future, My Oceans has been developed to promote human behaviours that protect coastal ecosystems and the services they provide to local communities,” Erik said.

“It’s effective, easy to use and low-cost. This ensures that non-experts – supported with light-touch training and modest investment – are capable of delivering the program.”

The cost of My Future, My Oceans is AUD$2,700, covering most materials and personnel.

For more information contact Erik Simmons on e.simmons@uq.edu.au.