Waves at sea level Thierry Meier

Community Voice Method

3 minute read

For over a decade, we've been working with communities to develop a shared appreciation and deeper understanding of the all the ways in which the ocean benefits them.

Sue Ranger

What is Community Voice?

If we're going to recover and safeguard our ocean, the people who use and depend on it need to be part of shaping a future that is good for us and good for the ocean.

An inclusive and holistic approach in marine conservation

We do what we can to make sure that conversations about how our ocean is used and managed consider the many different ways in which people care about and depend on it. This is just one of the ways in which we demonstrate our commitment to actively work towards a more inclusive and holistic approach in marine conservation.

Find out more about how the Community Voice Method works in the short films on this page:

Our Community Voice projects

Our Community Voice programme kicked off in 2009 and we have now used this versatile, film-based approach to engage communities in a variety of issues in the UK and the UK Overseas Territories.

Bringing people together to share what they value and their vision for the future, we’ve enabled inclusive conversations about how challenges can be met that have resulted in positive change for people and the places they love and depend on.

Young Beach Cleaner MonkeyBusienssImages

Credit: Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Wild Coast Sussex

Wellbeing and childhood memories

Wild Coast Sussex aims to inspire people living along the coast in Sussex to cherish their local sea and act in more ocean-friendly ways. Wild Coast Sussex is a partnership project and we're leading on the work with 16-25 year olds.

As part of our project research, we filmed young people and asked their perspectives. By grounding the conversation in value, we were able to have really meaningful conversations that really explored the diverse needs and concerns of young people living in Sussex. We build these values into our project plan, including a series of beach events for young people as a result.

Wild Coast Sussex is a collaborative, 3 year, National Lottery Heritage Fund funded project, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. Wild Coast Sussex is led by Sussex Wildlife Trust, with Marine Conservation Society, Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and Brighton Sealife.

We're working with 16 - 25 yr olds as part of Wild Coast Sussex, a collaborative, 3-year, Heritage Lottery funded project

Learn more about the project

Living Coast

The Living Coast project was designed to help us learn more about how people, including those from underserved or minority communities, in Portsmouth and along the Durham Coast connect with the coast and sea.

The project was particularly focussed on what barriers there may be to connection and benefit particularly with regard to use of the England Coast Path.

The Living Coast project was delivered for Natural England and in collaboration with the University of Greenwich and Community Voice Consulting.

Common Ground

We designed Common Ground to actively emphasise the values that connect people to their local coast and sea and guide thinking on how management reflects, supports or impact on local values.

The film was shown at workshops in Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire which brought together a wide range of people, views and values.

We used guided deliberation to explore the shared values that connect people to their coastal and marine resources, key issues in the district and potential actions that could help address them. This fed into the local authority’s strategic planning.

Common Ground was delivered in partnership with the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and with support from Community Voice Consulting. The Marine Conservation Society continues work in Norfolk through Agents of Change

Our Agents of Change are driving action which benefits everyone, including the ocean

Discover more

Seeking Balance

The Seeking Balance project was designed to support the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority in consulting with a broad range of local stakeholders on management measures for Kingmere and Beachy Head West Marine Conservation Zones.

The workshops used a Multi Criteria Analysis approach to weigh up the benefits and trade-offs of different potential measures and fed in to decision-making about management.

The Seeking Balance project was delivered in collaboration with the Sussex IFCA and with support from Community Voice Consulting and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The Marine Conservation Society continues work in Sussex through our Agents of Change programme.

Talkin' Turtle

Talkin’ Turtle was designed to engage resource users in the design of updated management measures for the long-standing, traditional marine turtle fishery in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

The film showcased a broad range of views on the value and uses of turtles and how this resource should be managed, and was screened at a diverse set of workshops across the islands. The project resulted in new management measures being drafted and brought into law in 2014.

Green turtles over seagrass in Turks and Caicos Islands

Green turtles over seagrass in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Credit: Peter Richardson

Talkin’ Turtle was delivered in collaboration with the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Environment and Coastal Resources and with support from Community Voice Consulting.

The Marine Conservation Society continues work in the Turks and Caicos Islands to assess the impact of these management measures, and will be employing Community Voice Method in the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat to develop stakeholder-led solutions to marine management issues

Learn more about our work in the UK Overseas Territories

Learn more about our international work

Contact us to learn more

For more information about the Community Voice Method or any of the projects shown here, please contact [email protected]

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