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Community Based Monitoring Manual June 2007


Jeremy Hills, Martin Le Tissier and Sompoch Nimsantijaroen

Contents 1 Introduction to this manual


2 Community Based Monitoring as part of co-management.


3 Development of Community Based Monitoring


4 Enabling characteristics for Community Based Monitoring


5 Stepwise implementation of Community Based Monitoring


6 Indicators for Community Based Monitoring


7 Outputs of Community Based Monitoring



Boxes Box1. How we started the process of CBM.


Box 2. Who does what and where do they do it.


Box 3. Engaging the Tambon in CBM activities


Box 4. Engaging the schools in CBM


Box 5. Monitoring survey and interpretation


Box 6. Keeping CBM going


Box 7 – Example of Quality of Life indicators from CHARM Tambon.


Box 8 – Example of Production indicators from CHARM Tambon.


Figures Fig. 1. The 5 key attributes of the co-management process; Community Based Monitoring is one approach which can help deliver co-management.


Fig. 2. The main stages of the process and outcomes of Community Based 6 Monitoring. Fig. 3. The 6 stages for implementation of Community Based Monitoring


Fig. 4. The three-level structure of the Community Based Monitoring indicators




Introduction to this manual

This manual has been produced as part of the Coastal Habitats and Resources Management (CHARM) project. This project was funded jointly by the EU (European Union) and DoF (Department of Fisheries; Royal Thai Government) and implemented from 2002-2007 in Thailand. One component of this project was the development and implementation of Community Based Monitoring (CBM). This manual describes the framework of CBM and provides practical advice on the implementation of CBM in coastal areas. This manual is designed for governmental, non-governmental organisations or community-leaders who are interested in using the CBM approach. CBM is designed to empower local communities in monitoring their local environment and resources, and to use this information in a structured way for decision making to improve sustainability of their resources and livelihoods. The CBM approach is intended to be able to implemented in a long-term, sustainable way by communities. Support from local governments and NGO (non-governmental organisations) facilitates this process. CBM is centered on the community themselves, through activities such as school involvement in youth camps and curricula design, and involvement from local NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations). However, it is improved with support from relevant governing and supporting institutions such as the TAO (Tambon Administrative Authority); it thus works within a co-management context andf supports the process of co-management. Historically, the CBM approach was initiated by the EU-funded “Capacity building to support training & education on coastal biodiversity in Ranong”. This project was successful in empowering the local community in relation to enhanced stewardship over natural resources. This basic approach was developed further through the CHARM project and implemented in three coastal Tambon (local government sub-districts) areas: Bang Toey (Phang Nga Province), Khao Khram (Krabi) and Lilet (Surat Thani). Examples from these sites are used in this manual to illustrate the CBM approach. Work during the CHARM project has extended this approach and more clearly identified the stages of the CBM process. This manual is designed as a practical guide for interested parties who wish to implement CBM. The manual contains a step-by-step guide to implementation of CBM as well as highlighting at each stage what was leant from the process of implementing CBM during the CHARM project. However, there is no fixed-formula for CBM and it is vital that CBM fits into the local situation and local needs through discussions with community members. Thus, although the overall CBM framework is generic, it is possible that adaptations to the process outlined in the manual are necessary. If CBM is not serving local needs then the cost (time, effort, financial) – benefit ratio can threaten the long-term sustainability of the approach.



Community Based Management as part of comanagement.

Sustainable Coastal resource management (CRM) requires the cooperation of a range of organisations, from the local level to the national level. Co-management is a partnership between resources users and governing organisations. It is a process which tries to bring together the different relevant parties in improving environmental sustainability and livelihoods through dialogue and creating active partnerships between local groups and government. Comanagement aims to improve understanding of various parties and, appreciating the variety of interests, and to provide a negotiated and more enhanced approach to environmental and resource ownership and management. The CHARM project identifies 5 key attributes of co-management (Fig. 1) 1 .

Five key attributes of co-management

Fig. 1. The 5 key attributes of the co-management process; Community Based Monitoring is one approach which can help deliver co-management.

As co-management is a process, a variety of approaches can be taken, singly or in combination 2 . For example, approaches to promote co-management could include alternative livelihoods, conflict resolution, adaptive management and land zoning, strategic plans for tourism development. However, important to the success of all these approaches is the need for ongoing communication between relevant parties, development of trust and partnership, group discussion and a common shared vision. CBM is also an activity which supports the co-management process. It works through

1 2

CHARM (2005) Co-management manual. CHARM, Bangkok. CHARM (2006) A manual for assessing progress in coastal management. CHARM, Bangkok.


increased understanding and awareness of local communities and includes all of the key attributes of co-management, as identified above (Fig. 1).


Development of Community Based Management

Community Based Monitoring is concerned with developing a process in the community and relevant organisation which increases their capacity for improved coastal resource management (CRM). A generic framework for CBM is presented (Fig. 2) which shows how information collected through the monitoring system is used by the community to develop a shared vision that can lead to local management of resources. Fig. 2. The main stages of the process and outcomes of Community Based Monitoring.

Time-fixed iteration

Collection of monitoring information

Community based review of knowledge and adaptive thinking

Community goal setting

Negotiated self-responsible management

There are to two main aspects to this process: 1. Community empowerment – strengthening and mobilization at the local level of relevant individuals and organisations in taking responsibility for local-level CRM. 2. Monitoring and interpretation capacity – increasing the ability of local users of the CBM system to collect relevant information, interpret this data, and use it for informed decision making on coastal issues. The methodology outlined in this manual is designed specifically to promote both community empowerment and understanding of monitoring and interpretation of information. The increased access to information derived from the indicator monitoring (described later in this manual) is useful for negotiation between community groups and local government for enhanced


planning and negotiation. Of paramount importance is that the community derives benefits from the process. The challenge of the CBM monitoring methodology is thus to develop tools which have low investment (time, inconvenience, real financial cost) for the community, but from which they themselves derive a high level of benefit. These benefits can be in terms of improved environmental quality or levels of exploitable resources, but of more direct relevance to the community are aspects such as improved wealth through enhanced and / or more sustainable exploitation, improved health through improved water quality etc. It is also necessary to have benefits realized in the shorter-term, not just the long-term, as this feeds back positively to the sustainability of the CBM approach.


Enabling characteristics for Community Based Monitoring

A good level of support from the community and relevant parties is necessary for successful CBM as it is a self-driven process. Thus, suitable areas for CBM require a certain degree of ongoing active community organisation and participation of stakeholders in Tambon-level activities with associated co-operation and trust. If this situation is not apparent then the CBM process may become overridden with ongoing rifts or divides between the community and be based on historical prejudices. The decision as to whether implement CBM should be based on the existing level of cooperation, trust and community empowerment in the area. If the contextual situation appears good, then CBM can be implemented with relative ease. If however there is little history of cooperation and trust in the area, then the CBM process becomes much more lengthy and risky as these aspects have to be developed prior to implementation of monitoring, in addition the time before the community see benefits is lengthened and thus enthusiasm and support can drain away. The sites where CBM was selected in CHARM were those which had historically a good level of local-level community mobilisation and co-operation with the TAO. From this work, eight CBM enabling characteristics were derived, which can act as a checklist for implementation decisions about areas suitable for CBM (Table 1). Table 1. Checklist of eight Enabling characteristics for Community Based Monitoring. CBM enabling characteristics 1. Community has a degree of local level organisation in terms of it main coastal resources e.g. fisheries associations, conservation groups. 2. These community groups are active and trying to do something together.



3. The community has common problems with aspects of resource use, this could be declining fisheries, mangrove degradation etc. 4. There appears to be a good level of ownership by the community over the local resources they exploit e.g. fishermen from other areas do not exploit their local resources heavily, the commercial sector is not overriding local resource use. 5. There are enthusiastic local individuals who can “champion” the approach. 6. Links between the community and local parties (e.g. TAO, fisheries officers, local NGO’s) exist and communication is ongoing. 7. The local schools are interested in developing a CBM approach and would be willing to use it as part of their curricula. 8. Centralised infrastructure exists which can collate and maintain monitoring information, e.g. a learning centre, TAO community meeting room. You need to know an area well to be able to fill in the checklist, and this means that you need to spend time in the local area and talk widely to the local people; this is not a desk-based exercise. If you assess a possible area for CBM implementation and you can answer “yes” to the 8 enabling characteristics, then that area would appear to be very suitable. If one or more of the 8 characteristics is missing, then the decision becomes more complicated! You could carry out specific work to improve this aspect prior to implementation of CBM. Or alternatively, you could revise the CBM process to be able to accommodate this lacking aspect. Clearly, if too many of the eight characteristics are missing then CBM is unlikely to succeed. Various activities can be used to create improve the enabling characteristics for CBM, this could be through instigating new activities or supporting and strengthening ongoing activities. For example, CHARM supported the development of Coastal Resource Management (CRM) committees to promote enhanced management and planning (partly addressing enabling characteristics 1, 6 and 8), it development community-based MCS (Monitoring, Control & Surveillance) groups (2, 3 and 4), it supported development of Learning Centers (8) and supported a wide variety of community-level activities (such a operational groups, fishing / conservation activities) which addressed a wide range of the enabling characteristics.



Stepwise implementation of Community Based Monitoring

As discussed in the previous section, certain contextual features need to be in place before implementation of CBM (8 enabling characteristics, Table 1.). If is decided to proceed with CBM, then the implementation process has a number of steps (Fig. 3). Fig. 3. The 6 stages for implementation of Community Based Monitoring


Initiation meetings

Community resource portfolio



Tambon engagement



School engagement

Monitoring survey and information analysis / interpretation.


Ongoing monitoring & ownership


Stage 1 – Initiation Meetings It is important that there is wide ownership of the process of CBM. This should include many of the community members; their relevant community groups (e.g. fisherman’s cooperatives), schools, local governmental organisations (e.g. Tambon Administrative Authority, Fisheries Officers) as well as other relevant organisations (e.g. NGO’s). A variety of types of meetings are necessary to access all sectors of the community. These should include not just formal meetings (e.g. monthly Tambon meetings) but many smaller and informal meetings with fewer people present. It is possible that some sectors of the community are not well represented in large and formal meetings, or feel that they cannot talk openly in such situations. It can be beneficial just to spend time in the Tambon and talking casually with people when you meet them; this is a good way to build up an open and trusting relationship with community members. By the end of stage 1 of CBM, it is important that all sectors have a good idea of the whole process of CBM, a rough timetable for implementation (in the CHARM project this process took about 2 months), what they are expected to do and also to be clear about the benefits of CBM to them. Box1. How we started the process of CBM. When we started the CBM process considerable effort was put into getting to know all the local stakeholders and to clearly explain the process of CBM. We held a number of both formal and informal meetings to promote understanding of CBM and also allow us to understand the local context and issues. We attended relevant monthly Tambon meeting (e.g. community meetings, conservation group meetings, visited local schools) and carried out awareness raising and planning on the CBM process. In addition, we carried out community-tours, in which certain community and TAO members visited Kampuan (Ranong Province) which was the site of an earlier initiative in CBM, and talked to participants of the CBM activities at Kampuan; this community-community interaction was very useful about managing the expectation of the CHARM Tambons about the CBM process. The overall input at each Tambon involved approximately, attendance at a TAO-led monthly meeting, one special CBM community meeting, 4-5 smaller meetings/discussions at the TAO, school, operational groups and livelihood groups (e.g. fishermen) and numerous discussions with certain interested individuals. These activities took place over about 2 months, and were then consolidated by a community-tour of interested individuals to Kampuan. By the end of this stage we were able to identify the nodal point for the CBM activity; this differed between the Tambons were we working in; in two Tambons it was centered around the TAO with strong support from the O.B.T (Arbador, or government selected leader of TAO) but with field implementation strongly supported by TAO staff in one and by local fisherman in the other, in the third Tambon it was centered around the village leader (Kamnan, or locally elected village head). In addition to finding a “home” for the CBM activity, key interested individuals also emerged who would later help “champion” the local CBM process. Effort in this “kick-off” stage of the CBM was well rewarded as CBM progressed over the next 2years, especially in managing expectations of the community in terms of what support they would receive and what the outcomes would be. For long-term sustainability CBM has to be a


community-driven process, and thus community engagement from the start is vital.

Talking about the CBM process at a monthly community meeting chaired by a village leader.

Discussions on the CBM process with representatives from community groups.

Community members meeting with local people from the Kampuan CBM initiative as part of the community tour.

Planning CBM activities and timetables with local TAO staff.

Stage 2 – Community Resource Portfolio. The Community Resource Portfolio (CRP) is the first stage of collecting local information. The aim of this activity is get an impression of the spatial use of the local area for coastal and marine exploitation, or more simply, what people do and where. Prior to the carrying out CRP it is necessary to develop base maps of the area. These can be extracted from official cartographic maps covering the land area of the Tambon and 10km offshore (about the seaward limit of long-tail fishing activity). However, it is vital that the community have a good ability to read such maps and can clearly identify features from the maps e.g. their village, the main road or islands. If the community have a poor ability to understand cartographic maps, then the alternative is to get the community to draw the base map themselves, using features that they know well. The disadvantage to this approach is that the community-derived base map is not geo-


referenced and the data can be hard to translate onto cartographic maps, or into GIS (Geographical Information Systems). To collect the CRP information, a number of people from the different main coastal and marine livelihoods (e.g. crab traps, beach seine netting, floating fish nets) are asked to draw onto a blank base map areas where they carryout their activities. Many people carryout a number of different activities over the course of the year and they can fill in a number of different places where they exploit particular resources. It is important to obtain information from the main livelihoods in the community, and also to have a number of replicates from each livelihood (5-10, depending how varied the maps they draw are). This activity is best done by the group initiating the CBM activity, for example a local NGO, as collection of this community information early in the CBM process is not easy by the community itself. The base maps with the areas marked for different activities are then collated together and put onto a single map; this single map then shows the areas which are exploited by different livelihoods. This can be done “by eye”, or alternatively using GIS. The collation work may be done on a computer by drawing or GIS analysis, however, the final output should be on paper and fed-back to the community for comments and revision. It is important that all information in the CBM process is fed-back to the community and in hard copy – computers may be useful for analysis and storage of information but they can be “elitist” and a barrier to good community ownership of the process, especially by those individuals who have never used a computer. Box 2. Who does what and where do they do it. The data for the CRP was collected by the CHARM team. To make the base map a section of an official map was extracted which covered the Tambon land area and up to 10km offshore; an official map was used as trials had shown that community members could understand the maps. Mapping of the livelihoods was through an interview process. This was carried out either in large village meetings, in which people were divided off into main livelihood groups (e.g. offshore net fishermen, fish and crab trap etc), or by walking around the village and asking people more informally. People were asked to draw an area on the map that they use for their main livelihood, and then to draw on other areas of their other livelihoods, or other livelihoods which they know about. The first times we did this we let people name their own livelihood, however we ended up with lots and lots of different livelihoods; it is advisable to produce an initial category of 5-10 livelihoods and fit people into those categories. A summary map of livelihoods was made either by GIS, or if the there was consistency between the areas marked by different people by simply drawing around peoples areas. At a follow up gathering, the summary map was distributed to the community and TAO for comment and revision. This is important, firstly to provide feedback on time that the community had invested in the process, and secondly to iron out errors in the maps. Certain individuals found a few errors with the maps, mainly livelihood use zones which were not marked on the map. The communities we worked with were very appreciative of the summary map, it appeared that they have never had such information before. Of particular interest to the community were the areas which had multiple livelihoods taking place in the same place. Sometimes, spatially overlapping livelihoods


were separated in time (different periods of exploitation through the year), but sometimes it was apparent that there was potential for conflict between livelihoods as they took place at the same time and at the same place. The CRP was a good start to the CBM process as it provided a good overview of what livelihoods there where and where they were carried out, it also led to rapid and visual feedback to the community thus developing their interest and support for the CBM initiative.

A large community meeting divided into livelihood groups, in which livelihood activities on base maps were collected.

A small meeting with local fishermen collecting data for the local Community Resource Portfolio.

Example of Community Resource Portfolio showing the main exploitation areas for 3 species of inshore fin-fish (blue, pink and hatched lines).

An overall Community resource portfolio. Blue areas show areas exploited by Tambon; darker blue areas are of multiple use by different livelihoods.


By the end of the CRP stage, you, and the members of the community, should have a good idea about what resource exploitation activities people are doing and where they are doing them. The final discussion with community members should be to agree which areas of the Tambon the monitoring is going to take place and which livelihoods it will cover. It may be that the community is interested in monitoring all of the Tambon activities, or to concentrate on certain areas or zones of the Tambon or on certain (the main) livelihoods. It should be remembered that just to concentrate on areas where there are presently issues and problems, may not be the best approach. This is because in areas which presently provide a good quality and sustainable livelihood may degrade in the next few years. In the CHARM project, in the three main Tambons that we worked with, we included all of the areas that they were exploiting. In these Tambons, the main coastal resources were associated with mangroves and inshore fishing from long-tail boats (nets, traps for fish, crabs etc, or rod and line angling for larger fish). In another Tambon on an island in Phang Nga Bay, due to local concern over their status and worry about the impacts of the tsunami, we targeted just the coral reef areas. At this Tambon the CBM process was implemented mainly through the local conservation group, with support from the TAO, and was perceived as important for the future due to the increasing tourist industry as well as monitoring a recently designed protected coral reef area. The wider impact of increasing tourism was already addressed through a strong CBT (Community Based Tourism) initiative. Stage 3 – Tambon engagement By this stage the community and associated organisations should have a good idea about the process and benefit to them of CBM (stage 1 – initiation meetings) and where CBM is to be implemented (all of the Tambon, certain zones or certain livelihoods). Stage 3 involves developing understanding of the more detailed approach to the methods that are to be used and also training in those methods. The CBM approach uses sets of indicators to provide information about the status of livelihoods and resources and uses this information to modify and improve resource management. Details about the actual indicators are covered in the next section. The activities in stage 3, involve: • Promoting the understanding in the indicators. • Discussion of which indicators are relevant to their Tambon area. • Training in collecting and analysis and interpretation of the indicator data. Thus, this stage should involve a number of training sessions as well as some field activities to show how the information should be collected in the field. It is likely, that this activity will not involve all those individuals involved at the earlier stage, but be narrowed down to a group of interested individuals; in the CHARM case studies it was found that the active and supportive community numbered 15-20 individuals. These individuals should be mainly from the community, but the TAO and other relevant organisations should also be represented to maintain the co-management linkages.


Box 3. Engaging the Tambon in CBM activities This stage is preparation for the community survey, and thus, must include developing an understanding of the indicators, how to collect them in the field, and how to interpret the results. For CHARM we carried out a number of activities: • General introduction to ecosystems. This activity involved raising the level of awareness of ecosystems and the constituent plants and animals in the main habitat types of the Tambon. The course was run informally for interested individuals who were closely involved in the CBM activity. • Targeted indicator training. This activity involved discussions about the indicators and why they were relevant, and further explaining the link between ecosystem functioning and exploitable production of the ecosystem. • Field training. As CBM is a community-driven process, it is necessary that the community can go out and collect indicator information by themselves. Thus, it was necessary to go out to the field and actually collect the relevant indicator sets as a trial. This was done in small groups (5-10 people) and included representatives from the TAO, kamnan and community and took place over a 2 day period. • Analysis and Interpretation. Once trial sets of indicator data were collected by the community, with the support from CHARM staff, they were then asked as a group to place the data on the big map. This involved doing simple arithmetic of the indicator data, to provide overall summaries for villages / ecosystems (as explained in the following chapter) and then placing appropriate symbols on the map which reflect the recent changes (QoL and Production indicators) or the quality status (Ecosystem indicators). The overall process of training the community took 2-3 weeks and by the end of it a group of 1520 persons were competent at collecting, analysing and interpreting the indicator information. It also seemed there were a number of additional benefits of this process. One benefit was that this activity brought together people together who otherwise would not know each other; this was good in terms of building friendships and trust, but also promote further institutional linkages (e.g. between fisheries group and TAO staff). A second benefit was related to promotion of interest in the local environment. Individuals often pointed out animals which they knew nothing about, or even took the CHARM team to certain areas which they found especially interesting; the support team could then explain a bit about this aspect, which seemed to be greatly appreciated by the community members. With a longer presence in the Tambon by the support team during this satge, various social activities took place in the Tambons, for example evening BBQ of local shellfish. Trust and openness developed strongly during this period, both between the CHARM team and the community, but also between members of the community.


Discussing the indicators with village head (kamnan) and senior community members.

A small group of fishermen looking at different types of worms on an intertidal mud bank.

Community and TAO representatives with CHARM staff practicing collection of mangrove indicators.

TAO and kamnan staff and community members being helped to put collected indicator information on big maps.

By the end of this stage members of the Tambon should have the capacity to undertake a field survey using the indicators, to collate the collected information together and to represent this information on base maps. Stage 4 – School engagement. This activity is closely linked to stage 3, though it concentrates in the schools (teachers and pupils) within the Tambon. However, school engagement is slightly different to Tambon engagement; this is because school activities are already highly structured with respect to school terms, age classes and most importantly must meet the terms of their Local and National Curricula. The first stage of engagement with the schools is to have discussions with the Director / science teachers to identify how CBM activities can be structured within and enhance the curricula. It is necessary for CBM to have an agreed position within the curricula to ensure longevity of the activities. For example, at one Tambon a local curriculum was developed which accounted for 40hrs over the year, which was divided into four sections (environment, livelihood, social aspects and 16

community life-style). Each of these four areas was broken down into a number of activities such as tour of mangroves, visit to TAO to talk about coastal resources and mapping of community activities. After the orientating CBM in the curricula, then like in stage 3 – Tambon engagement, it is necessary to develop capacity in collecting and interpreting indicator information. The part of the training involves training of relevant and interested teachers in understanding more about coastal resources and livelihoods and then more about the collection of the indicators. This can be through structured training sessions as well as through marine camps, in which teachers actually carryout monitoring activities in the field. At this stage it is useful to develop the teaching materials together with the teachers and to make sure it is clear how the teaching fits into the Local and National Curricula. The next stage involves supporting the teachers to training their pupils using the developed teaching materials. Again this can be achieved through structured class room sessions and associated fieldwork, and / or through residential marine camps. Involvement of schools is not vital in implementation of CBM. However, the inherent structure of schools (in terms of curricula and annual turnover of classes) means that they are a safe and stable repository for knowledge on CBM. In addition, there are benefits for the children (pupils) and their parents (local resource users) being involved in the same process, in terms of sharing knowledge and discussing coastal resource issues. It should also be noted that the children are likely to be the future resource users from the area. By the end of the school engagement stage, the teachers should be confident in teaching CBM to their pupils and have suitable teaching materials prepared to support their teaching. The teachers should be clear about how the CBM teaching fits into their Local or National Curriculum. Box 4. Engaging the schools in CBM In the CHARM project we selected schools that were either in the target Tambon area, or schools outside the Tambon area to which many of the children from the Tambon attended We implemented the CBM process in 2 schools at each Tambon, these included both junior and high schools. This stage took about 8 months, with about 4 months between the two school camps; the length of this stage was partly due to the large degree of logistical arrangements which had to be made, but also because the CHARM team were also active developing stage 3 (Tambon engagement) at the same time. The first stage of school engagement was to discuss the CBM approach with school Directors and experienced science teachers; at this stage it is important to match the needs of the school (e.g. development of Local Curriculum, delivery of certain aspects of the National Curriculum) to the CBM process. From the CHARM experience, it seemed that certain science teachers were extremely supportive of the CBM activity; the main constraint on their participation was fitting CBM activities into their existing workload. From the discussions with the schools, a number of interested teachers (23) per school were selected to go on the teachers training course. The teachers training course was run at the Ranong Marine Station (Univ. of Kasetsart) as there was


good local information and knowledge on the environment of the area from pervious activities. Teachers from the 3 main target Tambons were present as well as a number of NGO’s (e.g. REST), the training course lasted 4 days and was residential; it beneficial to have the teachers away from their own school so that they could focus on the course. The course covered general aspects of different habitats (e.g. mangroves, rocky shore) and involved simple field exercises as examples of what it would be possible to teach pupils in the field. The last day of the course involved a discussion of the monitoring indicators and further elaboration of the CBM process. Two school camps for pupils, with support from local teachers who had been at the Ranong teacher’s course, were carried out. The camps were residential, but in the local Tambon area (accommodation was in schools or National Park buildings), and lasted 3-4 days. A number of visits to the Tambon area were required to organise logistics, organise timing of school camps with teachers and to select areas for the exercises for the school camps. School camp - I was a general background to ecosystems and habitats, and involved similar exercises the Ranong teachers camp. The teachers, who had been trained at the Ranong course, supported the CHARM team in teaching the activities. School camp – II was a field exercise targeted at collecting indicator information from the Tambon area. This acted as training for both the teachers and the pupils. By working groups of 5-8 pupils, with support from the teachers and CHARM team, the children were able to come up with the sketch maps of the Tambon area and illustrated aspects of environmental quality collected during the fieldwork, for example, degraded or cut mangroves, newly planted mangrove areas, erosion. Such sketch maps were used to get the pupils accustomed to presenting environmental data in a spatial way. During school camp – II, a discussion was carried out between the teachers and the CHARM to detail the ways in which CBM could be embedded with the Local and National Curriculum. The outcomes of these meetings were detailed lesson plans and a break down of different sessions and when during the term they could fit in; many of the teaching sessions used exercises which had been carried out during the teacher’s and school camps for which documentation was already prepared. We expected that certain suites of CBM monitoring indicators would be directly taken up by the schools and embedded in the curriculum, However, the uptake of specific CBM monitoring methodology was limited and not consistent across schools. In terms of curricula, the schools were more interested in the general aspects of learning about ecosystems and field activities, such as sieving mud samples, collecting water quality data; this sort of data allowed the pupils to draw graphs and write up conclusions of their field activities. However, what was apparent was that the experiences of the school children had considerably developed their ability to collect and analyse information. The actual collection of monitoring data was largely done out of school time, by interested pupils (e.g. conservation group within the school) in collaboration with school teachers and community members. The school camps were thus very effective in building capacity and enthusiasm and developing curricula and activities to promote environmental awareness, this then enabled CBM to be supported by the teachers and pupils as an extra-curricula activity. Thus, although the result was different to what was expected, the school engagement program and curricula enhancements still led to active teacher and pupil involvement in CBM.


One activity of the teacher’s camp was to identify and measure mangrove trees.

Organising children into different topic work groups at a school camp.

Children collecting mud samples from a mangrove creek to look for worms and shells in the mud samples.

Children explaining their maps of the environmental quality of the area from data collected during a school camp - II.

Stage 5 – Monitoring survey and interpretation. The previous stages have involved initiation of the CBM process (stage 1), identifying who does what and where in the coastal and marine area (stage 2), capacity building in the community and schools (stages 3 and 4, respectively); stage 5 is about putting all these previous stages together and carrying out a survey. The survey involves collection of the sets of indicators from the areas which have been defined through the Community Resource Portfolio (stage 2). The details methodology for collection is described in the following chapter. At this stage it is important to organise the survey work schedule. It could be that the community members and the schools (teachers and pupils) join together to do the survey. However, it is more likely that the survey work will be shared between the school and the community. The division of work needs to be discussed and agreed. For the schools, it is important that the work they take on fits well with the curricula that they are following (as decided in stage 4); this may mean that the schools carryout only


specified elements of the survey or take on certain elements as an extra curricula activity. A schedule should be prepared for carrying out the survey which fits into the school teaching timetable. It is likely that the school activity will be during school time, whereas the community can undertake activities when it is convenient for them (e.g. evenings). The total time in the field is 3-4 days for the first survey. As part of the time plan, a joint meeting should be organised between the community and the school, with representation from the TAO and other interested parties, such as Department of Fisheries, Provincial Government representative and local NGO’s. During this meeting, the data collected from the survey should be analysed and interpreted. This can be carried out by using large-sized base maps (poster size) printed on plasticised sheet; these maps can be stuck onto the wall and can be drawn on using non-permanent markers. The advantage of the big maps is that everyone in the room can see how the data is developed and presented on the maps. It is useful to use summary symbols for the indicators which reflect the status of the indicators sets (e.g. good, medium, bad), for example using happy or sad faces placed over villages or specific resource use areas. Once the data has been summarized on the big map then it is necessary to interpret the data. This is carried out by group discussion, involving all those involved in the survey activity. A starting point of discussion can be to identify, from the summarized indicator information, what is good or bad about the Tambon area. The next stage can be determining the reasons why these aspects are good or bad, and this naturally leads into a discussion on what can be done about the bad aspects and how the good aspects can be maintained. It is very useful if this session is facilitated by someone who has a clear idea about the desired outcomes of the discussion; this maybe be one of the local “champions” which were identified in the first stage of the process, or someone from an external organisation. Ideally, the final outcome should be a clear set of issues (e.g. declining crab catch, poor water quality), what can be done about these issues (e.g. crab bank / releasing crabs with eggs, manage prawn farm effluent release to periods of high tides) and if necessary, what resources are necessary to carry out the changes. Some changes have small costs associated with them (e.g. timing prawn farm effluent release), other may have some costs which can be met locally (e.g. construction of crab bank) whereas other may require external supporting or funding (e.g. mangrove restoration) from organisations such as the Provincial Government and Department of Fisheries. Responsibility for taking the actions forward should also be considered, for example, bids for external funding may need to come from the TAO. It is also important to try to identify interventions which create social benefits in a short-time scale, such as controlled prawn farm effluent release which could have nearly instant benefits on health through declining skin rashes and diseases. Short-term “wins” are important to maintain enthusiasm and support for the CBM activity.


Box 5. Monitoring survey and interpretation At this stage of the CBM process, through the community and school engagement activities, members of the Tambon had the skills to carryout the monitoring survey using the indicators and to analyse the results. The Tambons were supplied with indicator data sheets and big maps, and discussions were made about the logistics of carrying out the survey with the CHARM team. After that the CHARM team largely left the Tambons to organise collection the data themselves. Ongoing support was provided by the CHARM staff, mainly by mobile phone, on specific issues of the survey and collation of results. However, it was felt important to let the Tambons carryout the survey with as little support as possible, as a test of the methodology. Collection of the monitoring data took between 2 weeks and 2 months, depending on the Tambon. It was difficult for the involved individuals to dedicate days at a time to the activity, so it was generally carried out in short bursts. At times, other activities took priority over CBM, for example during the survey period there were high catches of prawns at one Tambon and thus the fishermen were fishing solidly for a matter of a few weeks, at another Tambon there was an upsurge in illegal fishing which required community action. The actual sampling was done by a mix of community members, supported by pupils when activities were outside school time. A visit by CHARM was made during the community survey just to obtain a status report from the Tambon CBM team and to assess the data which had been collected. The CBM teams in each of the target Tambons managed to collect all the relevant data for their Tambon (QoL, production and Ecosystem indicators). Once this had been completed, CHARM supported the consolidation of the data into summary information and then interpretation of the data through a consolidation phase, which last 2-3 weeks. The main activity of the consolidation phase was to bring together all the individuals involved in the survey and to add the data to the big maps and discuss the results. Discussion of the results focused on the main problems of the Tambon, as identified by the indicators and possible management interventions. Direct benefits of the CBM activity included increased awareness and understanding of coastal resources, changes in attitude and behavior, increased community unity and changes in sustainable management of coastal resources; details of the outcomes form the survey as defined by the CBM teams are provided later in this manual.

Part of the community monitoring team eating an evening meal at a fisherman’s house with a representative from the TAO during the CBM


A fisherman, and staff from TAO and kamnan collecting mangrove indicators during a survey of mangrove creeks by boat.


Community members identifying sampling points from which monitoring data was collected

Pupils working up Quality of Life data in a workshop at the TAO during the analysis stage of the CBM survey.

Putting data onto a big map: the main livelihood exploitation areas are shown as shaded areas (collected during the Community resource Portfolio activity – stage 2) and some symbols (faces) used to show the quality of mangrove areas in the eastern area of the Tambon. The key and worked out indicator scores are attached below the map.


Stage 6 - Ongoing monitoring and stewardship This stage focuses on a longer time scale and involves a number of aspects: Revision of progress on interventions – the issues and proposed actions developed in stage 5 need to be carried out. As part of this final stage it is necessary for the monitoring team to meet periodically and for the responsible individuals to review the progress which has been made on each of the issues. It is necessary for the whole group to be informed of progress on each of the action points and also to act as a “sounding board” for developments as the actions progress. These meetings are vital to maintain momentum in the CBM process, and also to deliver real “on the ground” changes within the Tambon. Data repository – it is necessary for there to be a central repository for the collected data and for the map which has been produced during the survey. It is best if the big map is kept in public view (e.g. a public meeting room, learning centre, kamnam office, health centre) to provide a reminder of the CBM process. The actual indicator data can be stored as paper-copy, or in places where computing skills are well developed, in electronic format (e.g. Excel); although paper copies should always be available. The data should be easily accessible for individuals to come and review. Re-surveying – at some stage in the future the survey needs to be repeated to determine the impact of the interventions, and also to identify if other aspects of the resources in the area have changed. A yearly re-survey would be appropriate in providing enough time for actions to be implemented and it additionally fits well into the annual schooling cycle. Depending on the study area, it may be that a variety of other aspects need to be considered in stage 6. For example, it could be that the monitoring team (community + teachers + associated representatives) want to develop to a more formal “environmental monitoring” community group which is recognised by the TAO. Alternatively, it could be that external expertise of a technical nature is required for one particular issue, and that gaining such input is important for facilitating the CBM process. For each study area, such aspects need to be fully considered and discussed, as the longterm sustainability of the CBM process relies on achieving and reviewing successes (and failures) and adapting management witihin the local context. Box 6. Keeping CBM going The CBM process does not finish when a CBM survey by the community has been carried out; this is only the start! CBM is designed to be a sustainable and ongoing system, which gradually leads to enhanced CRM. This means that active engagement needs to be maintained in the process, otherwise it will be forgotten. The CBM approach is designed so that a survey takes place yearly, however, in between surveys is the time for discussion and implementation of enhanced management in the Tambons. During the CHARM project, we found two main benefits of the CBM process. Firstly, in terms of increased understanding of coastal resources and an awareness of the possibilities for enhanced management; this information was drawn directly from the analysis of the monitoring indicators. The second benefit was in terms of improved co-management, in that through the CBM process individuals


from the community, school, kamnan and TAO organisations (and in one case an NGO) had come to know each other much more and learn to work together; this is likely to have longer-term benefits to the Tambon. The CBM process is designed to be effective in developing, not just increased awareness and management of coastal resources, but a platform for improved co-operation within the community. During the CHARM project this process took 2 years, although part of this work involved development of the indicators. As community strengthening is a vital part of the CBM process, and this takes time, it is recommended that CBM should not be implemented in a time period shorter than1.5 years. To conclude CBM development through the CHARM project we undertook two main activities. The first was an evaluation of the understanding of the CBM process and a detailing of the benefits of CBM to the community (items of this are presented in the final chapter). The second activity involved a final ceremony, in which the ownership and responsibility for driving the CBM process was passed over to the Tambon. The final ceremony was designed as an official event, contrasting to most of the previous activity which had been done on CBM which was relatively informal. The final ceremony involved the CBM teams from each of the Tambons (teachers, pupils, community members, TAO, kamnan and other supporting organisations) and numbered about 50 individuals in each Tambon. Prior to the ceremony, we worked with the head of the TAO (O.B.T.) to identify where CBM could be positioned within the strategic plan for the Tambon; the strategic plan is an official document produced by all TAO’s. During the final ceremony, the TAO signed an agreement to continue CBM in the Tambons. This involved an obligation to actively support CBM as part of the TAO strategic plan, as well as providing baseline funding to the CBM team to carryout the monitoring and analysis activities of CBM. As well as trying to celebrate the achievements of CBM within the community, the final ceremonies were used as a tool for wider dissemination. We invited representatives from the Provincial Administration as well as senior representatives from DoF and other locally relevant NGO’s, to show what had been achieved by the community. On a longer-term scale, but beyond the CHARM-CBM teams remit, was a desire for CBM to be implemented in clusters of Tambons in vulnerable coastal areas. We could see the potential at the Provincial level of groups of neighboring coastal Tambons, undertaking CBM (at the same Tambon scale) but providing information at a larger spatial scale, which would be useful for management at the Provincial scale. It would be possible to use the 3 target Tambons, as demonstration sites for other Tambons within the Province; the 3 main target Tambons for CBM during CHARM were located in Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani Provinces.

Handing over and MoU signing ceremony in presence of Krabi Governor in Khao Khram

Handing over and MoU signing ceremony in Liled, Surat Thani


Indicators for Community Based Monitoring

There are many examples of monitoring systems and indicators which have been developed for environmental monitoring, community development and coastal and marine monitoring. Any monitoring system must be “fit for purpose” for the environment and the social and cultural context in which it is going to be used. Thus, the use of a pre-developed “off the shelf” monitoring system may not be successful due to contextual issues. Furthermore, CBM is designed to be carried out by the local community and thus must reflect local capacity. The development of indicators which are appropriate to evaluate coastal resources in the target areas effectively, which can be indicative of the state of a wide range of coastal resources over a wide spatial area, which have community ownership and cultural significance and which can be assessed using local level experience and technology remains one of the key challenges to develop a monitoring system. Clearly, insufficient consideration of the monitoring indicators will mean that the monitoring system will not be an effective tool to lead to local responsibility for management of local scale resources. However, high complexity of the indicators will mean that the approach cannot be sustained wholly within-community; thus the indicators need to be simple but valid. The basic framework of the CBM in the CHARM project has three levels: 1. Quality of life - (e.g. health and disease, economy, personal stress) 2. Production (e.g. catch of key biomass resources, e.g. crabs, species loss, decreased size) 3. Ecosystem (e.g. loss of habitat, loss of functional use such as water quality). Linked to each of these levels are sets of indicators which inform the target population about the status of the three interlocking aspects (as outlined in Fig. 4). This fundamental linkage between multi-level indicators and the needs of the target community was a core aspect of CBM. Selection of the specific suite of indicators was from expert knowledge and literature 3 4 5 6 7 , this set of indicators was then more widely discussed to provide a consensus on a suitable suite of indicators to be used in the survey. This provisional suite of indicators was discussed with the Tambon representatives prior to the survey, to ensure their cultural appropriateness and local relevance. It should also be noted that the indicators are designed to be used in areas where there is no, or extremely limited, baseline data (as in the CHARM study sites). In terms of the ecosystem-level, indicators were developed for offshore marine, mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats. The specific indicators were developed in a way which links understanding of ecological processes to the goods and services which the local community use from those ecosystems. Thus, the focus at the ecosystem level indicators is on assessing the 3

Becker, S. (1997) Sustainability Assessment: a review of values, concepts and methodological approaches. Issues in Agriculture 10: CGIAR. 4 Rockloff, S.F., Lockie, S., Helbers, D. (2004) Identifying social indicators for water resource management. Australian CRC. 5 Swisher, M.E., Rezola, S. & Sterns, J. (2006) Sustainable community development step 4: devlop sustainability indicators to measure progress. Univ. of Florida, Institute of Food Agriculture – extension group. 6 Grove, J. (2002) EvaluLead Framework: a framework for evaluating leadership development interventions in global health. USAID. 7 Psychosocial Working Group (2006) Reflections on identifying objectives and indicators of psychological programming. Psychosocial Working Group, Institute of Health and Development, UK.


quality of environmental function, upon which the exploited resources (Production indicators) rely. The focus on environmental functions provides a direct link into Production (the exploited parts of the ecosystem) and the Quality of Life (the extent of community benefit of the exploitation activity) indicators. Fig. 4. The three-level structure of the Community Based Monitoring indicators




During the development of CBM in the CHARM project, no scientific validation was carried out on the indicators. The specific indicators were initially developed from literature sources, expert opinion and relevance to the Tambon areas, following this discussion and revision of the indicators was carried out through discussions with the TAO and through field experiences. A full scientific validation of the indicators would not be easy, require extensive inputs and the methodology would be complex. However, we focused on what the indicators were trying to do, i.e. provide information and insights for the community on coastal resources to promote consideration of enhanced management options. In these terms the indicators were successful for the areas we were working in. However, it is still not clear if the indicators are the “optimal� indicators for this approach. The relevance of the indicators to further areas where CBM is being implemented needs to be considered. It may be that a revised indicator set if more relevant to other areas, however, even if this is the case this would not impact upon the generic six-stage CBM process. The following sections provide details on the indicators and how to collect them. Quality of Life Collection: Quality of Life (QoL) indicators were collected at a village scale; in the CHARM project up to 6 villages were sampled within each Tambon. Within each village sampling included a range of resource users and the sampling was adequate to represent the QoL status of the village (in CHARM we used 20+ individuals per village). The indicators were collected through individual interviews, or if appropriate through villagers filling in prepared sheets. The indicators look at change over the last year as perceived by the respondent, and ask whether the indicator has improved (+), stayed


the same (=) or got worse (-) over the last year. Thus, each villager responded with a +, = or – for each indicator. Indicator Level of income

Response +=-

Price change in key coastal resources


Resource security


Level of illness and disease


Level of control over resources


Level of participation of managing resources


Changes in resource exploitation behaviour


Rationale / comments Key quality of life parameter at the family level. Absolute values probably not possible to determine. External influence on income level, mainly determined by market. Key driver for changing exploitation patterns. Longer term view of resources which linked to external influences (e.g. poaching) and internal issues (e.g. decreasing catch, less productive aquaculture) Physical human health parameter which may, or maybe not, linked with environmental quality and income level. Level of control linked to degree of mental stress within individuals and family – can lead to higher alcohol consumption etc. Key principle of co-management which identifies the level of involvement in management at the local scale of resources – linked to “level of control” indicator. Changes in resource exploitation can be negative (e.g. decreased availability of certain coastal resources) or positive (e.g. extended fishing grounds now available for one species).

Analysis: The first stage of the analysis is at the village level. A total score is derived for each indicator for all the individuals sampled at that village, by counting a + as 1, = as 0 and – as -1. So for one indicator, if 20 villagers were samples and 12 responded +, 5 responded 0 and 3 responded -, then the overall score would be 9 ( {12 x +1} + {5 x 0} + {3 x -1} = 12 + 0 + -3 = 9 ). This should be carried out for each indicator. Once the overall score for each indicator is established it is modified into a %; this is done so that the analysis are comparable between villages irrespective of sample size. The maximum possible scores are if all respondents answer either + (100%) or – (100%). So to change the overall indicator score to a percentage divide the overall score by the sample size (number of respondents). So, in the above example the overall score (9) is divided by the number of respondents (20) and thus the score is 9/20, or 45%. A graph can be drawn for a village for each indicator, and the percentage change (on a scale of -100% to +100%). It is vital that the % change over the last year in the indicator is correctly interpreted. On first view it may look like this data is showing the size of the change over the last year; this is not the case. What it tells you is the strength of community perception that change has taken place over the last year. It may be that the stronger the community perception of change, the more sizeable the change is likely, but this is an assumption and it is thus important to view the percentage change values as “strength of community perception of change”. So far we have obtained % change for each indicator for a village. In the summary analysis which is represented on the big map it is useful to provide an overall summary 27

for the village. This is done by taking the mean of all the % changes of the indicators for the village. The village summary should obviously be between -100% (all respondents responded – to all indicators) and +100% (all respondents responded + to all indicators). We found it useful to use summary symbols on the big map to represent the village summary. We categorized the QoL summary for each village into 3 levels: worse (-100% to -25%), same (-25% to +25%) and better (+25% to +75%) and used different symbols for the three levels. If you wish to make comparison between Tambons (set of villages), then you can take the mean of the % score for each village and then take a mean for the whole Tambon. This provides a rough estimate of the perceived change in the last year in QoL for the Tambon as a whole. Though care should be taken in interpretation of this information, because as the indicators are summated (individual indicators, to villages, to Tambons) worsening condition of one or more indicators in a village(s) can be masked by the averaging process. This analysis may seem complicated at first reading, however, the process of summation from individual indicators to villages and then to Tambons if required, is simple and logical. The mathematics involved is all simple, and we found that this could be done by school children once an example was worked through with them. Box 7 – Example of Quality of Life indicators from CHARM Tambon. Strength of perception of change in Quality of Life Indicators for coastal villages from one CHARM target Tambon. Graph shows summed responses of positive, negative and no change (n=102); strongest perception would be 100% positive or negative. Green bars show positive change in indicator and red bars show negative change. 100 80 60 Perception

40 20 0 -20








-40 -60 -80 -100

Context: • Some evidence of reduced income; some respondents identify increased debt and also increased living / fishery costs. • Price either equal or reduced, but has significant impact in some cases when coupled with increased costs.


• • • • •

Security of resources is perceived to have increased to some extent; this was mainly due to local mangrove plantations, decrease in illegal fisheries and an increased awareness of resource management issues. General concern regarding health impacts of waste water from prawn ponds. In village 9 concern over jellyfish drying activity, though this is transient. Control perceived as increased mainly through implementation of community rules for management, but concern regarding long-term future of resources identified. General view of increased involvement in community-based management, through, for example, crab bank, MCS, exploitation rules (e.g. net mesh size) and liaison with fishery Department. Change in behavior mainly related to increased community involvement. Evidence for increased levels of awareness of resource issues.

Interpretation: • External factors impacting upon economic wealth of villagers, not related to status of local resources. • Prawn farming viewed as a health issue, but no evidence of this being addressed by the community. • Much stronger perception of community-based resource management and awareness improving security and control of coastal resources, but also stress associated with an uncertain future.

Production Collection: the production indicators are collected in a similar way as the QoL indicators, though interview of respondents filling on forms. A decision is required at what level Production indicators are collected depending on the detail of the study (e.g. all livelihoods, or just certain livelihood activities). The Production indicators should be linked to main livelihoods of the village or Tambon. If a detailed study is required, then the Production indicators can be collected for the main livelihoods (e.g. those persons operating crab traps, squid traps, fish floating nets, rod offshore rod and line fishing), however, if an overall view is required the Production indicators can be collected at an overall village or Tambon level. Depending on the level of division of livelihoods you choose, you need to make sure that each livelihood is sampled adequately (at least 20 respondents). We found that doing Production indicators at the same time with the same respondents as QoL provided most of the required data, however, in some cases it was necessary to search out new respondents with specific livelihoods to ensure adequate sampling. Indicator Change in amount sent to market

Response +=-

Change in species


Change in size


Change in capture/aquaculture methods


Rationale Synthesis of total marketable production of combined capture and aquaculture output. Linked to income level for families with mainly coastal resource livelihood. Loss or gain of exploitable species, fish as well as crustacean, molluscs etc. Possible indicator of over exploitation, especially for larger species, but may be caused by other factors e.g. recruitment success / failure. Increase or decrease of size of key exploited species. Classic indicator of over fishing by removal of mature individuals. Linked to “resource exploitation behaviour ” indicator, but focussed specifically on innovation or improvements in technology or methods to enhance


Change in availability over previous period.


capture / aquaculture efficiency. General changes in location and or stock availability (i.e. CPUE, estimated without catch and effort data).

Analysis: the Production data are analysed in exactly the same manner as the QoL data; the only difference is that the data may represent livelihood classes depending on the level you have collected the data (i.e. overall Tambon, overall village, or main livelihoods). So the analysis involves summing the responses for individual indicators, modifying this into a percentage and then summing the data to the village / livelihood or Tambon level. The derived scores should be interpreted the same as QoL i.e. strength of community perception of change. Box 8 – Example of Production indicators from CHARM Tambon. Strength of perception of change in Production Indicators for one CHARM target Tambon. Graph shows summed responses of positive, negative and no change from community survey (n=39); strongest perception would be 100% positive or negative. Green bars show positive change in indicator and red bars show negative change. 100


80 60 40 20 0 -20






-40 -60 -80 -100

Context: • Petrol for boat more expensive, so use less and catch more from the shore. • More people exploiting a limited amount of resources. • Need more stock release to maintain resources. • Strong seasonal pattern for resource exploitation. Interpretation: • The amount available to catch has increased rather than decreased, but increased costs (mainly fuel costs) do not lead to strong economic gain. • To catch adequate product, the fishermen are increasingly following seasonal trends in species distribution; this maintains availability of catch through most of the year, but maybe puts increased pressure on those stocks.


Among some of the interviewees there is a perception of decrease size of the catch; this view was identified from individuals involved in both mangrove-based and offshore livelihoods and a variety of different target species. This could be an early sign of a the first stages of overfishing within this area, possibly due to the increased number of people exploiting the fishery, rather than due to any more efficient fishing practices.

Ecosystem The ecosystem indicators are slightly different to the QoL and Production indicators in that the indicator does not reflect community memory of change over the last year, but reflects the present status of the ecosystem. As explained earlier in this chapter, the ecosystem indicators are linked to the functioning of the ecosystem, with the view that a functioning ecosystem can provide exploitable goods and services for the local community. It was not considered possible to identify overall ecosystem indicators, instead the ecosystem was broken down into a small number of key habitats in which resource exploitation takes place: mangrove, seagrass, coral reef and offshore. Thus, indicator sets were developed for each of these individual habitats; if CBM is implemented in an area which has a different and important habitat then it may be necessary for you to develop a new indicator set for this habitat. Collection: it is necessary to decide where and which habitats are necessary for survey. Obviously, the first aspect is to determine which habitats are present within the Tambon area. After that it is necessary to determine if each habitat is to be considered as a whole, or it is to be broken down into different areas (e.g. mangrove areas around different river mouths, or separate patches of coral reef). This decision depends on the level of detail of the study. However, at this stage it is useful to look back at the Community Resource Portfolio maps, for example, if different livelihoods are using different areas of the same habitat, then it may be appropriate to separate the habitat into two areas depending on use. The sample area for the different habitat types differs; this is due to practicability of rapidly obtaining predominantly observational data in a field situation: • Coral reef – collected from a 10m x 10m quadrat by walking over intertidal reef at low tide, snorkeling or SCUBA. • Mangrove – collected from up to 50m lengths of mangrove observed from a boat in the creek, or 10m x 10m quadrats if the mangrove forest is accessible by foot. • Seagrass – collected by walking at low tide, or snorkeling at higher tide. • Offshore – collected from samples of offshore sediment. Unless the water is very shallow, the easiest way to do this is from a small boat using a pipe dredge (a tube of about 15cm diameter with one closed end, which is dragged short distance over the sea bed by a small boat and which fills up with items from the surface and sediment). A number of samples should be taken from any one site (at least 5) to make sure that the data from the sire reflects the overall nature of the area.


Within each habitat, or area of habitat (if the habitat is to be broken down into different areas) it is beneficial to take a number of repeat samples of the indicators (5-10, depending on the size of the habitat area). As much as was possible, the indicators are observable features of the habitat, permitting easy collection of data by the community and school. All the indicators are phrased as statements; the statement can be correct or incorrect. The indicators are phrased in such as way that an answer of “correct” is positive in terms of ecosystem quality. This means that some of the statements are phrased in a negative way, for example “there are no fishing nets”. This may seem a little complicated, but it makes the analysis of the data much simpler. Some of the indicator statements have a degree of subjectivity; this is a constraint of developing a community-led, rather than a technical scientific, monitoring system. To partially overcome this issue of subjectivity, ecosystem indicators should be collected in a group; with the final consensus verdict recorded. In addition, prior to implementation of the survey, the indicators should be introduced and discussed to promote consistency between individuals. HABITAT TYPE Coral reef





There is a mixture of coral shapes.

The mangrove trees are of more than one type.

The seagrass consists of more than two types.

The sediment is muddy.


There is a mixture of different sized corals.

There are no dead trees in the mangrove forest.

The seagrass is dense and continuous?

The sediment is sandy.


There is more coral than bare sediment/rock.

There is no erosion on the mangrove bank.

There is no sediment on the seagrass leaf

There are plants (e.g. seagrass).


There are no little broken/fragmented pieces of coral There is no sediment covering coral.

There are no nets along the mangrove margin?

The sediment surface is sandy mud.

There are worms.

There are Strombus snail species.

There are shells.

There are clams (e.g. Anadara sp.) There are swimming crab?

There are crabs.

5 6

There is no algae covering the coral

In the last year no mangrove area has been lost. There is no evidence of trees being cut.


Less than 10% of the coral colonies are white.

Young mangrove seedlings can be seen.


Most coral colonies show less than 50% partial mortality. The coral does not have any coral lesions.

The mangrove margin has dense foliage.

There are starfish

The mangrove canopy is made up of trees of a mixed height.

There are sea cucumbers



There are other animals with shells and legs. There are other animals not included above.


There any sea fans, sea whips and/or soft coral on the sea bottom. There more than one type of fish swimming around the coral.

There are bivalves on the tree roots.

There are fish larvae and fingerlings.

There are mud skippers and crabs on the mud.


The fish are swimming in shoals (yes) or mostly singularly (no).

There are worm tubes in the mud around the trees.

There have been dugong observations or dugong tracks seen in the last 3 months. Another large animal (e.g. dolphin and turtle) has seen in the last 3 months


There are butterfly fish


There is more than one type of sea urchin. There are no traps on the reef.


15 16

There are no fish nets on or near to the reef.


There is no gleaning of the reef if exposed at low tide (e.g. shells/octopus). There is no significant tourist activity in the area.

18 19

There is no significant alteration of land use adjacent to the reef.

Analysis: as noted before the answer to each of the indicator statement can be “correct” or “incorrect”. To determine the status of a habitat type, you firstly score all “correct” answers as 1 and then you add up the total. Then you express this number as a percentage of the total possible “correct” scores. For example, if the mangrove indicators scored 9 “correct” answers, then the score would be 9 out of 12 (total number of indicators); this equates to 75%. If more than one sample are taken for habitat areas, then the mean percentage can be calculated. It is important to note that % scores are not comparable between habitats, only within habitat types. The higher the % score the more positive features the habitat has. The percentage scores can be divided into categories which are linked to differences in habitat quality e.g. 0-33% = poor, 33-66% = medium and 66-100% = good. The selection of category boundaries is up to the users to define, and this partly depends on the range of percentage scores obtained. Symbols can be used to represent habitat quality on the big summary map.



Outputs of Community Based Management

CBM is one approach for developing the process of co-management targeted at a Tambon scale. As co-management is a process it is 8 : • Less focused on the end result. • More focused on the work and activities carried out. • Has clear links to participation and to sustainability. • But it can be difficult to measure. However, in light of this, it is necessary to carryout periodic evaluation of CBM to ensure if it is being successful or not. Like other coastal management initiatives, we can identify 4 levels of outcomes for CBM9 & 10 : 1. Enabling conditions met. 2. Changes in attitude or behavior. 3. Societal or environmental quality improved. 4. Sustainable coastal development. In the CBM process, we consider the enabling conditions as a pre-requisite for implementation of CBM, and provide a checklist in a previous section. Thus, the “success” of CBM can be linked to three aspects, changes in behavior, societal or environmental improvements and cohesive sustainable development. As CBM is a participatory approach, just talking with local community members and stakeholders will provide a good impression of benefits in these three categories. However, it is beneficial (and maybe necessary) to more formally evaluate the success of CBM at these three levels. In the CHARM project, we carried out an evaluation using a questionnaire towards the end the intervention in the 3 Tambons that we targeted. Below are presented some example responses from the stakeholders (translated from Thai), divided into the three levels of outcomes: Questions used in CBM evaluation. Comments and a scoring (on a scale of 1-4) were requested for questions 1-14, and just comments for questions 15 – 20. 1. Do you understand the information on community resources collected during the CBM process? 2. Do you understand more about the status / condition of coastal resources? 3. Do you understand more about the species of plant and animal? 4. Do you understand the survey method used in CBM? 5. How much benefit did you get from CBM in terms of: 5.1 conservation; 5.2 8

CHARM (2005) Co-management Manual. CHARM, Bangkok. Olsen, S.B. (2003) Frameworks and indiactors for assessing progress in integrated coastal management initiatives. Ocean & Coastal Management, 46, 347-361. 10 CHARM (2006) A Manual for Assessing Progress in Coastal Management. CHARM, Bangkok. 9


16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

management? Can you evaluate the resources from the indicator forms? Do you think the Quality of Life indicators are useful? Do you think the Production indicators are useful? Do you think the mangrove ecosystem indicators are useful? Do you think the offshore indicators are useful? Do you think the water quality indicators are useful? Do you think conservation in the community is important? Do you think of the cooperation between school, community and arbator is useful? Do you think that the big map is useful for presenting results of the CBM indiactors? How you can transfer knowledge for activity to community: 15.1 how to present the method; 15.2 recreation activity;15.3 train the method; 15.4 how to conclude information from survey; 15.5 how to present results of survey Can you carry on running the CBM activity? What aspect(s) of the CBM approach will you stayed involved with? Can you list the benefits of the CBM approach? How do you think we could have improved the CBM work in your Tambon? Do you have any other comments?

• • • • • •

Responses regarding - changes in Attitude and Behavior Help us protect natural resources. More knowledge, so look after (mangrove) forest. Know more people in the community. Have knowledge to survey natural and coastal resources in the local area. Know that the ecology of the coastal area provides a nursery area. This project improved understanding and knowledge for benefit of resources.

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

• • • • • • •

• • • •

Responses regarding - societal or environmental quality improved. Make unity in the local area and allow one to express one’s thought. Have more unity in the community and closer to the leader of the village, villagers and the fishermen. Do not catch fishes in spawning season and do not cut and destroy mangrove. Participation is the best way for resources management and sustainable utilization. CBM builds up a vigorous community. Makes strength and unity in the community. Improve spirit in the community and have more tourists in the area. Responses regarding - sustainable coastal development. Benefits conservation of natural resources: animals and plants. Increased mangrove conservation and there is more reforestation. Benefit is coastal resource and environmental development of the community. To increase the want of the community for the leader to make strong rules for the protection of the environment.


It can be seen that CBM had an impact upon the involved individuals. These impacts were in terms of individual knowledge, community unity and empowerment and also in terms of a more strategic approach to resource management. At other sites it may that the outcomes of the CBM process will be slightly different. The outcomes certainly should involve personal growth and community strengthening, but the sustainable outcome may be more focused on other habitats, or other key problems of the area. It may be that the CBM approach is more focused on a particular habitat, for example, during the CHARM project a habitat-specific approach was implemented on coral reef at Koh Yao Noi (Phanga Nga Province). As was stated in the introduction to this guide, there is no formulaic approach to implementation of CBM, the generic approach must be tailored to meet local needs and aspirations. To clearly identify the local context requires a participatory co-management approach. The key learning achieved during the CHARM project regarding implementation of the CHARM project can be summarized as follows: 1. You must spend time in the community, in both formal and informal situations. 2. CBM cannot be rushed. Within CHARM the process took 2 years, and at certain times certain emergent issues important for the community forestalled CBM progress (e.g. confrontations with illegal fishermen). 3. The community must understand the overall CBM approach, so that they know what they are doing and why. 4. The benefit perceived by the community in following a CBM approach must outweigh their inputs (e.g. time, travel costs etc). 5. You need to identify and support local enthusiastic “champions” of the approach, these may be TAO staff, elected village leaders or community group leaders, or just particularly interested community members. 6. Feedback on the communities effort is vital to sustain the process, one way this was achieved was by gradually building up the collected monitoring information on a big map for all to see. 7. Community involvement, strengthening and empowerment and relevant external support are vital to the longer term sustainability of the CBM approach; just providing support to the community to collect monitoring data is not enough. As stated at the start of this guide, we used CBM as a technique to enhance comanagement in the areas. The CHARM co-management model identifies 5 aspects of comanagement (Fig. 1). As a final summary of CBM, it is useful to identify the activities within CBM which have enhanced co-management: • Learning and adaptation – CBM was developed as an ongoing community-driven process as through the implementation of CBM the community learnt a lot about the benefits of working together and modifying their behavior to maintain coastal resources, for example about the importance of nursery areas and the benefit of coastal resource use rules.


• •

Integrated approaches and methods – CBM used of techniques from social and economic science, physical and biological science and geography, but packed them in a way which could be understood and used by community members. Building capacity – CBM involved a wide range of training to promote a general understanding of coastal ecosystems and resources, but also more advanced training in implementing and analysing monitoring data; the success of these approaches is clearly identified in the Tambon evaluations. Partnerships – CBM involved development of partnerships within the Tambon. This was partly on an individual basis as people got to know one another, but also on a more formally through development of enhanced curricula in the schools and an overall TAO supported partnership to maintain CBM. Participation – CBM involved participation from all relevant Tambon-level sectors (schools, community members, community groups, TAO, kamnan and NGO’s) in a range of settings from formal to informal, and from large groups to small groups.

This Manual has tried to outline the main steps of CBM and provide supporting information for other groups to undertake a CBM initiative, outside the CHARM project. However, it should be constantly remembered that CBM is not a formulaic approach; the local environmental and socio-economic context have a significant affect on the way CBM is implemented. Thus ultimately, CBM must be a process which fits to the local situation, and such you must constantly review progress and adapt the CBM process to optimise the gains to the local people and ensure sustainability of the approach.


Profile for Coastal Matters

Community Based Monitoring Manual  

This manual has been produced as part of the Coastal Habitats and Resources Management (CHARM) project. This project was funded jointly by t...

Community Based Monitoring Manual  

This manual has been produced as part of the Coastal Habitats and Resources Management (CHARM) project. This project was funded jointly by t...