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Forming a non profit organization

Introduction

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            Comprising over 70% of the Earth’s surface, water is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exists on our planet.  Without the seemingly invaluable compound comprised of hydrogen and oxygen, life on Earth would be non-existent: it is essential for everything on our planet to grow and prosper.  Although we as humans recognize this fact, we disregard it by polluting our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Subsequently, we are slowly but surely harming our planet to the point where organisms

are dying at a very alarming rate.  In addition to innocent organisms dying off, our drinking water has become greatly affected as is our ability to use water for recreational purposes.

            Similarly, abundant coastal and marine resources attract civilization toward the coast. More than half of the world’s largest cities are on the Asian coasts. Fifty percent of the world’s population currently lives within sixty kilometers of the coast.   Coastal development contributes significantly to national economies. However, development comes at the cost of the environment.  Increased domestic and industrial wastes, dredging, discharge of agricultural chemicals, destruction of mangroves, erosion of coast lines, overexploitation of marine fisheries are just some of the problems the world is facing today.

            Many Asian countries which are largely situated along coastal lines, are facing serious marine and coastal environment problems. These problems cause the untimely deletion of the marine resources that usually give nearby residents their livelihood.  As marine resources continue to be exhausted, the subsequent social problem that stems is poverty and starvation.

            Because of this, many non-government organizations (NGO) have been put up all over the world to address marine and coastal problems.

Types of Coastal and Marine Resources

A. Fisheries

            The biggest problem in the Fishery Sector, which has been confirmed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concerns the fact that most traditional fish stocks have already reached their full capacity and sustainable yield in the future is quite unlikely.

B. Aquaculture and coastal agriculture

            Aquaculture, otherwise known as the farming of aquatic organisms is popular in Asia, which produces 87% of world’s production in this area.

C. Mineral Resources

            Some activities in relation to underwater oil and natural gas found in oceans and seas conflict with other uses of marine environment, such as salt recovery, coral mining, gold from beach sands, etc.

D. Maritime Transport

            Sea transport activities have been intensified in the area. Consequently, this requires large-scale development of seaports, which are usually built in natural embayments.

E. Tourism Resources

            Tourism in the area is also a fast growing industry. Ecotourism is being promoted for visitors. This, however, often creates conflict between local communities and visitors.

            It is because of these pressing problems that a non-governmental organization (NGO) has to be formed.  As has often been stated, only when the government and private institution work together can real progress be totally achieved.

Review of Literature

            The issue on coastal area mismanagement has long been raised in many places around the globe. Biodiversity is essential. It is the basis of all man’s food and resources and many of his economic activities (www.doc.govt.nz)).

            Accordingly, among the principal benefits of coastal and marine preservation are as follows (www.mcm-deat.gov.za):

            1) Coastal and marine management can help man identify the best use of available resources;

            2) Coastal and marine development promotes social equity through improved livelihoods of poor coastal communities; and

            3) A healthy coastal environment benefits current and future generations.

            It is in the most recent time of human history that people have the ability to harvest resources faster that they are produced (Bohnsack 1994). In fact, according to Bohnsack, the sheer magnitude of the current human population creates enormous demands for food, fiber, minerals, and other commodities that support our modern social fabric.

            The demand for food made by the present human population is enormous and is increasing at a rapid rate. Widespread overexploitation and declining yield have created an intense need for proper management of marine and coastal resources (Sumich 1996).  Moreover, according to Sumich, open access and the absence of realistic, binding regulations to govern the world’s marine and coastal resources continue to promote overexploitation with little regard to its ultimate consequences.

Methodology

            The study conducted before forming the NGO was generally qualitative as they are based on observations by its incorporators, plus the informal inputs of the residents living around the area.

            However, fifty people have been asked and interviewed as to what are the pressing environmental problems they have observed in their area.  The problem of marine and coastal management came out on top of the list.

            Moreover, these residents recognize the fact that many of them still need training/education on how to take care of their marine resources, and are willing to undergo further study for as long as this does not interfere with their important regular activities.

            Aside from this informal survey, a diary was used as an instrument to record observations by the researcher.  To further validate data, secondary sources, such as books and newspaper articles, were also used.  Official websites of important organizations were likewise utilized as needed.

The Business plan

            The following Action Plan Objectives and Proposed Targets are established within the NGO:

            1) To improve knowledge of the co-operation between coastal users, managers and conservationists;

            2) To protect key habitats and populations of key species;

            3) To promote greater public awareness of the wildlife value and issues affecting the coastal zone;

            4) To seek to influence local policy which may affect the coastal zone, so as to ensure that biodiversity is taken into account fully and effectively;

            5) To promote a policy, applicable to all types of activity within the coastal zone, of non-interference with natural processes, and appropriate management of human activity to avoid such interference; and

            6) To promote the adoption of agricultural policies and practices which reduce and minimize adverse impacts to the natural processes and biodiversity of the coastal zone.

            To be able to sustain the NGO’s objective, there should be a continuing formal dialogue among NGO members, community members and the local government. The formal Dialogue Sessions would assist the NGO to focus on the issues being discussed in a particular years.

            Moreover, the NGO should be able to publish its own website for easy access among its incorporations and donors. This shall result to better reporting and tracking of the allocation of NGO funds.    The following is a matrix of the general plan of the NGO in the next ten years.

Action
Partner/s
Budget
Target
Policy and Legislation
Local Government

Ensure that biodiversity are taken into account during the review of existing mineral permissions.
Local Government

First Year
Promote strategic planning guidance in coastal waters.
Other existing NGOs
NGO funds
Ongoing/Continuous
Promote the importance of inshore marine areas.
Other existing NGOs
NGO funds
Continuous
Area Safeguarding and Management
Other existing NGOs
NGO funds
First five years until local residents can take care of it on their own.
Conduct lectures/trainings/conferences regarding coastal and marine management.
Local government and community leaders

Continuing for the next five years.
Promote stiffer penalties to those who violate coastal and marine management laws.
Local government

Continuing
Planting of artificial corals on the sea bed
Other NGOs
NGO funds
For the first three years.
Appointment a coastal zone biodiversity officer
Local government and community leaders

Continuing in the five years
Develop a partnership with fisheries organizations to assist in fisheries management.
Community leaders

Continuing
Conduct of future Research and Monitoring
Local government
Local government funds
After every three years in the next ten years
Promote wider involvement in research

NGO fund

Encourage regular media mileage

The first five years
Promote external and internal communications and publicity

Continuing
Emphasize the importance of marine ecology to the public
Community leaders

Continuing
Develop links with international NGOs with the same concern
NGOs

Continuing
Identify endangered species to protect

First five years

Organization Chart

            The NGO is composed of a set of officers that will oversee its management, and its members. The following are the officers and their corresponding responsibilities and obligations.

President

            The president is in charge of the over-all operations of the NGO. He shall oversee the implementation of its programs and projects. He shall preside during meetings and encourage creative inputs from his subordinates to build a stronger base within the organization. Furthermore, he shall actively pursue the NGO’s objectives by helping formulate plans and look for sources of funding to aid the NGO. He shall likewise maintain strong external links in both the worlds of NGOs and GOs.

Vice president

            The vice president shall take over the president’s responsibilities in cases when the latter is unavailable.

Secretary

            The Secretary shall be the keeper of all documents in the organization. He shall take the minutes of every meeting held and shall record all documents needed by the organization. He shall further write all the memoranda that come out of the organization. Further, he shall be responsible in keeping all important materials, files and other documents intact and available.

Treasurer

            The treasurer is responsible for the finances of the organization.  He shall keep track of the NGO’s expenses as well report to the president for any fund donation from external entities. He shall be kept responsible for making ways and means to improve the organization’s financial standing.

Assistant Treasurer

            The assistant treasurer shall take over the treasurer’s duties and responsibilities when the latter proves to be indisposed.

Auditor

            The auditor shall aid the treasurer in the safeguarding of the organization’s finances. He shall make sure that the money of the organization was well-spent and properly accounted for.

Public Relations Officer

            The P.R.O. shall be responsible for the media mileage of the organization. Moreover, he shall be responsible in conceptualizing and designing the various information materials of the NGO. He shall also be responsible in conducting educational campaigns in the community level to ensure that local residents are well-informed of the NGO’s programs and projects.

Board of Directors

            The Board of Directors shall be responsible in the approval of any programs and projects of the NGO. They shall be consulted and will give the final decision as far as any major decision is to be made.

Chief Advisers

            These are community leaders that shall be involved in formulating projects and programs within the NGO. As their designation states, they shall be responsible in giving pieces of advice to the NGO officers as far as policy-making and cultural integration is concerned.  Their job is vital since they are the main sources of link the NGO has to the community.

Membership

            Individuals who want to be a member should at least be a high school graduate. However, he must be committed to the objectives of the NGO. He shall accept the duties and responsibilities assigned to him and ensure that they are fully implemented.  He shall likewise pledge to pay the membership fee and the monthly dues required of a member.

Public Awareness

            It could not be emphasized enough: information/education campaigns (IEC) are critical in all stages of an NGO initiative. This is a powerful took to gain social acceptability, support and cooperation.

            Public education should not be limited to the fisherfolk organizations but to all sectors of the community. Fostering community stakeholder participation to take responsibilities for particular tasks and advocating for broader community ownership and stewardship should thus be facilitated.

            Public education and information dissemination may be done through video, television shows, radio programs, newspapers, distribution of leaflets, meetings/trainings/workshops for community orientation, posters, house visits and comic publications, and exhibits.

            Study tours or site visits are also very effective means to “sell” the objectives of the NGO.

Bibliography:

Bonhsack, 1994. Marine Researves: they enhance fisheries, reduce conflicts, and protected resources. NAGA-The Iclarm Quarterly. ICLARM, July 1994, pp.4-7.

Sumich, James. 1996. An Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life.(6th Edition) Wm. C. Brown Publishers.

www.doc.govt.nz/Conservation/Marine-and-Coastal/index.asp

www.mcm-deat.gov.za

 

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