Community Development

To upskill, uplift and empower communities near our marine conservation areas

Close working relationships with local coastal and island communities are at the heart of all of our work. This represents a natural extension of &Beyond’s Care of the People impact ethos into the marine realm, and an expansion of Africa Foundation’s commitment to enable conservation through the empowerment of coastal and island communities.

The development of a Marine Community & Conservation Ranger programme, whereby men and women from local communities are recruited, trained and employed, is a major focus of our work. The tasks of the rangers are broad, and range from conducting baseline environmental monitoring, assisting visiting scientists with field research and patrolling marine protected areas, to a range of outreach activities including guest engagement at &Beyond lodges, community liaison activities, and school and community marine conservation awareness and education initiatives.

Through Africa Foundation’s programmes in local communities, OWB supported the building of classrooms in communities near Mnemba Island, a health clinic on Benguerra Island, and most recently, the provision of food aid to communities affected by the Covid pandemic at our island sites.

View Africa Foundations’ focus areas below, which includes CLEF (The Community Leaders Education Fund).

Learn more about our other projects…

Explore our activities at each of our different sites

Apex Predators

Using the latest tracking technology we study the movements, habitat use and behaviours of apex predators, including sharks and giant trevally, to inform conservation and the establishment & management of marine protected areas.

Coral Reef Diversity

With some of our sites hosting among the highest coral diversity outside the Coral Triangle, coral reef studies are a major focus of our work including documenting & monitoring coral, fish & invertebrate health, diversity & abundance.

Fisheries & Food Security

Many millions of people depend directly on marine resources in East Africa. Our work contributes to fisheries monitoring, promoting sustainable fishing practices & assessing the nutritional value of fish to people as reef ecosystems change.

Ocean Soundscapes

Listening in on ocean soundscapes using underwater microphones enables us to monitor the health of coral reef ecosystems, study the behaviour of iconic marine animals and assess the impacts of noise pollution.

Sea Turtles

Five species of sea turtles occur in the Western Indian Ocean, with our sites supporting important nesting areas for four of these. Our sea turtle nest monitoring projects on Mnemba and Vamizi Islands are amongst the longest continuously running programs in East Africa.

Seascape Mapping & Monitoring

Mapping habitats & multiple use zones & deploying environmental sensors at our sites provides vital information for marine scientists, & informs marine spatial planning and the establishment & management of marine protected areas.

Terrestrial Biodiversity

Islands have high conservation value for threatened & endemic plants & animals. Our work focuses on plants, birds, reptiles & mammals, including a unique sub-species of the Samango monkey and the Endangered Ader’s duiker.

Whales and Dolphins

Numerous whale & dolphin species occur at out sites in East Africa with our focus on regular surveys and monitoring & research of resident and migrating populations, including Humpback Whales, using passive acoustic monitoring (underwater microphones).