Hart Fellow Brian Wright (PPS ’07) is working with the Institute of Social Order (ISO) in Manila, the Philippines. The country’s oldest NGO, the ISO implements community-based coastal resource management. Wright is investigating local fishers’ problems and approaches to creating sustainable fisheries. The fishers struggle with poverty, rapid political change, corruption and community division. They often resort to means—such as cyanide fishing—that are both illegal and destructive to the environment.
Wright conducted research in three different communities: one a regular part of ISO’s core program activities, one a recent addition to the program and the third, outside of the program and known as a “lair of illegal fishing,” called Taba-Taba. Below is an excerpt of Wright’s “Letter Home.” The full text is online at the Hart Fellows Web site, along with Wright’s other letters and slideshows.