UCLA Anderson MBA students conduct Applied Management Research projects in lieu of a thesis. The nation’s first business school field study program, AMR partners students with top organizations to solve a key strategic problem. During Impact Week (April 17–21, 2017), whose theme is Purpose + Profit, we’re highlighting stories of AMRs supported by the Center for Global Management that took UCLA Anderson Class of 2017 teams overseas to collaborate with NGOs whose mission-driven work includes such global challenges as health care delivery, international labor standards and environmental conservation.
By Lizeth Chiprez (’17), Grace Luo (’17), Nishant Ranjan (’17), Makibi Takagi (’17), Randy Lee (’17)
Conservation International, the client for our Applied Management Research field study project, is an international nonprofit focused on efforts to promote environmentally sustainable development. CI has established 1,200 protected land, marine and coastal areas across 78 countries. In Ecuador, the location of our project, CI has been focused on conservation of mangrove habitats since 2001.
The fishermen who live in the areas near mangrove habitats are integral stakeholders in mangrove protection. However, many are struggling to make ends meets. Some of the fishermen have organized to create associations or formal cooperatives. To incentivize them to participate in conservation efforts, many of these associations have been granted a governmental concession that gives them exclusive rights to nearby mangrove resources, as long as they utilize them in a sustainable manner.
Our project’s goal was to find ways to improve profitability for members of associations that have been granted concessions, thereby creating an economic incentive for participation in conversation efforts. We are focused on associations in two fishing communities within the Gulf of Guayaquil, 6 de Julio and El Morro; and the value chains for two specific mangrove products, the red crab and black clam. Our team traveled to the Gulf of Guayaquil in Ecuador in December 2016 and January 2017 to conduct primary research.