Every year, the program hand-selects locals who are trained to participate in the MAR Leadership program. The principle in working with locals is simple; committed individuals, with home-grown ideas have the ability to get their own communities excited and involved to create the social support needed to make real, lasting change.
The training program is tailored to each individual’s areas of expertise and gives them the opportunity to interact with and learn from peers, mentors and experts in their field.
Contiki provides Leader support on 2 levels.
In 2010, the Leaders focussed on transforming the region’s tourism and coastal development models. In 2011 the Leaders are focussing on bringing creative solutions to the challenges of overfishing and protection of coral reef and fish populations in marine protected areas (MPAs).
Over time, the hope is that the growing ‘alumni’ of Leaders will build a critical mass of committed conservationists in all areas of civil society and escape the traditional NGO (non-government organisations) ‘bubble’ as they’ll be able to take control of their own issues and solutions locally.