Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) was awarded the “Best in Community Support and Local Development” at the October 2019 Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) Awards, held in Arusha.
Chumbe Island was recognized based on a number of community support and local development criteria that is underscored by the company’s longtime partnerships with local fishers, government agencies, and schools and universities to ensure that conservation targets are not dealt with in isolation and include local stakeholders. This community support is strengthened through CHICOP’s ongoing “Education for Sustainable Development” program, which offers free environmental education to local communities, and in June 2019 surpassed the 10,000 participant milestone.
From a staff of 45 full-time employees, 42 are native to Zanzibar/Tanzania, and over 2/3 of CHICOP staff are from local communities in Zanzibar. Provision of wider income opportunities such as supplying agricultural products for the restaurant, purchasing building materials, sourcing local handcrafted artisan products, and outsourcing transport (both road and boat) and craftsmen services from Zanzibari communities, affects an even higher number of local people.
Community engagement is foundational to the overall success of the Chumbe Island project. By offering opportunities for employment, staff have access to sponsored education, long term loans, and local initiatives to support project operations. CHICOP employees who possess the drive to grasp such opportunities have been provided with the means by which they could advance their own potential, without it being pushed in a top-down fashion. In this way a path is provided for people to travel, enabling a sense of empowerment, responsibility and pride in peoples’ personal endeavors that support the shared success of the project.
CHICOP receives no financial support from government or donors and relies solely on revenue from eco-tourism, which fully funds all operations, including community outreach activities.
Ulli Kloiber, Conservation and Education Manager: ulli(at)chumbeisland(dot)com
Vikki Ott, Project Manager: manager(at)chumbeisland(dot)com