Drawing the future together: Adapting to change and creating the community and environment that we envision




Bennett, Nathan
Kadfak, Alin
Dearden, Philip

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Marine Protected Areas Research Group, University of Victoria


Coastal fishing communities everywhere in the world are experiencing significant environmental and social changes. In many places, the health and productivity of the marine environment is threatened by overfishing, coastal development, and pollution. Fisheries are often in decline. The climate is changing – bringing rising sea levels, warmer temperatures, changing seasons and rainfall patterns, and more severe storms. These environmental changes bring about changes in livelihoods, quality of life and customs. Communities are also subject to the whims of global economies, national politics and demographics. Broader environmental, political and economic changes can also lead to new policies and programs that impact communities. Change is constant. Whatever the root cause of change, communities have no choice but to adapt. The manner in which adaptation occurs can be proactive or reactive and results can be beneficial or detrimental. In June 2013, our research team conducted community-based scenario planning workshops in two coastal fishing villages on the Andaman coast of Thailand. Scenario planning is a group visioning process that is used to explore solutions to a central issue or question. The central question of this workshop was: “How can coastal communities achieve good outcomes for community development and the environment in a changing climate?” The workshop consisted of four stages over two days and participatory activities were used to: investigate the types of social and environmental changes that are being experienced in Ban Tapae Yoi from the perspective of local community members, to explore the hopes and dreams of local community members for the future of their community and the local environment, and to propose and prioritize actions that will help the community to adapt to these changes.



scenario planning, community-based research, visioning, participatory drawing, marine conservation, marine ecosystems, climate change, environmental change, social change, social-ecological change, coastal communities, Andaman Coast, Thailand, Ban Talae Nok


Bennett, Nathan James, Kadfak, Alin & Dearden, Philip (2014). Drawing the Future Together: Adapting to Change and Creating the Community and Environment That We Envision. Victoria, BC: Marine Protected Areas Research Group, University of Victoria. 22 p.