Determining the Enabling Conditions and Actionable Steps in Successful Alternative Livelihood Projects (ALPs) within the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Region

Anna Barboza

Alternative Livelihood Projects (ALPs) aim to use community capacity and available resources to promote and create options for sustainable sources of revenue and reduce dependence on natural resources (McPherson, 2006; Wright et al, 2015). In the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) region, the creation of other livelihood options to fishing can increase and diversify income (McPherson, 2006). The outcomes of ALP establishment can create a financial buffer against economic impacts caused by declining marine resources and climate change effects (McPherson, 2006). However, the variety of influential factors in ALP implementation can make successful strategy replication difficult (Brooks et al., 2012). Furthermore, limited literature documenting ALPs within the MAR region rarely detail context and project components. To provide more information to implementors, components of ALPs within the region were analyzed via a detailed literature review and open-ended interviews to assess project assets of success. Results indicate projects have moved away from objectives exclusively related to conservation. Financing was a key limitation impacting project progression. Enabling conditions promoted social capital to involve the community to conserve their resources and reduce fishing dependence. The results of this study can provide regional ALP managers actionable strategies for effective income diversification and ultimately reef preservation.