Blue Forests uses a pair of programs – Coastal Field School and Coastal Business School, to develop sustainable livelihoods. Coastal Field Schools are based on the Farmer Field School philosophy (see: communityipm.org) geared towards developing critical thinking skills around current livelihoods practices. To date, 12 types of Coastal Field Schools have been run around the improved management of specific coastal commodities:
Paulo Friere, a Brazilian Educator, worked to empower illiterate people in Brazil. His philosophy is represented in the following statement:
You never really understand an issue or know how to help resolve it until you involve yourself in the issue. Then you begin to understand it, to identify the principal parties and actors involved, and begin to realize how to change it.
At its heart, resilience theory speaks to the integration of social, economic and ecological factors into a single system.
1) Social system
The community of people involved both directly and indirectly in coastal resource use and management. This includes fishers, fish farmers, farmers, charcoal makers,etc. as well as purchasers, fisheries, agricultural and forestry extension workers and managers, other government agents, NGO workers and academia.
It is estimated that between 1980 and 2000, 180,000 ha of mangroves were degraded or destroyed each year. While the rate of loss decelerated to around 100,000 ha/yr in the 21st century, both mangrove conservation as well as rehabilitation are clearly imperative.