Implementation of a
This paper explores the experiences of the Coastal Areas Monitoring Project and Laboratory (CAMP-Lab) in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua. This focuses on the efforts of the project to develop, codify and implement a participatory natural resource management plan for the Pearl Lagoon basin. The efforts of the project were tied to the broader political and institutional environment in which the project operated. Progress towards success in all of these areas has been intermittent and dependent on a combination of persistence, recognizing and seizing opportunities, creative efforts at collaboration with a variety of partners, and a staff of local people who are well respected in their communities.
The CAMP-Lab project was initiated in Pearl Lagoon in 1993 through the efforts of a M.Sc. student, from the University of Michigan and a local marine biologist working with the Norwegian Peoples Aid (APN)-funded marine laboratory located in Haulover. These researchers used traditional participatory action research (PAR) methods, such as mapping and ranking exercises, in the village of Haulover to identify issues of importance to the community. This process ultimately led to the identification of the need for a management plan for the natural resources of the area. Based on this pilot activity, these researchers developed the CAMP project proposal, funded by the Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC), to continue their work in the broader Pearl Lagoon area. Eventually, at the urging of community members, the APN-funded marine laboratory in Haulover was merged with the CAMP to create CAMP-Lab.