Like Cosolargy, LegacyWorks Group and all of the exploration participants believe the change needed has to come through a community-driven approach. It happens through collaborative projects and initiatives that bring people together around a shared vision and purpose, working together under shared principles. No individual project by itself achieves the change desired. Rather, each project contributes energy and momentum to the broader change process underway and builds the capacity, relationships, and critical trust needed to take on projects of increasing complexity and importance. This action-oriented approach thus yields direct immediate impact through each project while simultaneously building capabilities to create the conditions for transformative change.
Expedition participant Andrew Tuck described his experience: “As we anchored off of Cardonal, we were all taken by the sheer beauty of the location and the vision of a marine conservation area with the Cosolargy development project having the potential to be one of the first fully sustainable and regenerative projects in the region, setting an example as an early adapter and a benchmark for small to medium-size sustainable development projects.”
The challenge facing this part of Baja California is balancing mass tourism and resource depletion with development based on a respect for both nature and people to ensure a sustainable future. It is hoped that the East Cape can inspire and lead the way for a model that preserves and regenerates the small settlements and communities that honor core natural and cultural values to build a new kind of economy and prosperity.
A good example of progress made in this regard is Cabo Pulmo, a national marine park 37 miles southwest of Los Barriles. The bay, Bahia Pulmo, is home to a 20,000-year-old coral reef, the oldest in North America and one of only three ancient reefs on the North American West Coast. Before 1995, when the area was declared a national park, the area was severely overfished. Twenty-five years later, the area has seen a 400% increase in biomass — attributed to the healthy condition of the reef itself which has literally come back to life. Cabo Pulmo has since also been incorporated into the larger “Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California.”