How we work

An Innovative Approach

Our innovative approach to marine conservation merges effective day-to-day co-management of the MPAs, reef-positive businesses, and conservation practices based on solid science. We run MPAs as social enterprises that have a positive impact on marine biodiversity and local communities and can become self-sustaining.

© Background image: Christian Manalo

We actively engage to develop collaborative management partnerships with governments for MPAs.

One of our main focuses is growing reef-positive businesses in and around the MPAs, with all profits reinvested in the MPAs and contributing to the local economies.

We explore innovative governance and financial mechanisms to provide the flexible funding that MPAs need to become self-sustaining.

How we work with governments

We help governments deliver their sustainability promises. For each MPA, a local Blue Alliance non-profit entity is established, with local partners and communities, to work alongside the regional and national authorities. Blue Alliance is the body responsible for carrying out agreed operational functions. Management activities are aligned with government policy in each case.

By delegating the day-to-day management of MPAs to Blue Alliance and our local partners, governments can focus on core functions such as regulation and compliance. They also have an oversight role, including approving the annual objectives and plans for each MPA, based on insights from an advisory committee made up of local stakeholders.

How we work in the field

We work in four fundamental and interrelated fields of operation, and we measure and report on our performance. Every Blue Alliance MPA is designed and managed to rewild ecosystems, improve food security, promote sustainable Blue Economy development for local communities, and enhance climate change resilience. Our experience has shown us that these goals are entirely compatible and achievable to create a successful MPA.

Science and Conservation
Community Development

Science and Conservation

Science and conservation via research and monitoring projects

Community Development

Enabling community development and empowerment


Surveillance and protection by raising awareness, ensuring compliance

Sustainable Revenues

Responsible, carbon-neutral enterprises to create sustainable revenues

How we work with reef-positive businesses

We aim for our MPAs to become financially viable by creating sustainable revenue streams from reef-positive businesses, such as nature-based ecotourism, blue carbon credit projects, and community-based aquaculture of overfished reef species. We build innovative impact-first Blue Economy businesses through collaborating with key partners and working with local communities. We believe that our MPAs can become financially self-sustainable and independent from donors in the long term.

How we work with blended finance

We fund early-stage investments into the reef-positive businesses associated with our MPAs through our blended finance facility, using catalytic capital to grow enterprises to the point where they can attract private sector investment. We reinvent philanthropy and focus on impact investing. We work with like-minded donors and investors by effectively co-managing MPAs and building Blue Economy businesses in and around them. Our performance is evaluated through a set of indicators that follow established international standards. By connecting investors, stakeholders, and ecosystems, we’re pioneering a scalable, replicable approach to the sustainable management and protection of Marine Protected Areas.

How we monitor our impacts

There are five identified and agreed upon Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are being monitored in each Marine Protected Area (MPA).

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