Addressing key issues facing coastal marine resources

05 November 2012 | Project description

We are helping to improve management of coastal and marine resources and enabling the sharing of best practices amongst communities and conservation practitioners. Our efforts are focussed in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. 

Strengthening Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific Project (Phase II)

BACKGROUND

Marine and coastal ecosystems are economically and culturally important for many countries, especially for people living near coast lines. Marine resources in Asia and the Pacific Islands are vulnerable to over-harvesting, pollution, coastal development and destructive fishing, with habitat degradation and invasive alien species presenting serious threats to many species. This in turn affects the millions of people who rely on these species for their livelihoods. Therefore, effective conservation measures are needed to safeguard ecosystems and the species they contain.

SITUATION

A few years ago Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu raised their concerns regarding management of their coastal marine resources and in response the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a project to help address their concerns and strengthen the management of their coastal marine resources. Three of the five countries—Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste—are in the Coral Triangle group of countries, (which also includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines). All five countries have common environmental concerns in climate change and biodiversity conservation under the Global Environment Facility Pacific Alliance for Sustainability.

The key coastal and marine resource management issues identified in the five Pacific Countries include (i) coastal development and fishing pressures, including over exploitation of coastal areas and overharvesting of valuable species, destructive fishing practices used in live fish food trade, illegal and unregulated, and unreported fishing, sediment and effluent discharge from watershed areas; (ii) climate change impacts; (iii) weak management of natural resources systems; and (iv) extremely limited staff and budgetary resources and capacity for public sector environmental management programmes-all of which are exacerbated by high population growth and rural poverty, creating food insecurity concerns.

THE PROJECT

The project, "Strengthening Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific (Phase II)" aims to improve the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems to climate change in the five participating countries. More resilient marine and coastal ecosystems will halt and reverse the productivity decline in these systems, thus improving national food security and capacity building efforts.

OBJECTIVES

  • Strengthen the capabilities of national and local institutions in the five countries in sustainable coastal and marine resources management; and
  • Application by coastal communities of best practices in ecosystem-based fishery management and climate change adaptation.

IUCN’s role is to support the development of legal capability in the countries by:

  1. Strengthening their environmental laws, including building public and private sector environmental law capacity; linking the countries to regional legal networks, awareness building, and training; and establishing environmental law associations;
  2. Helping the countries to develop a regional learning forum; and synthesizing, sharing, and disseminating best practices in integrated coastal resources management.

Country Priorities

  1. In Fiji, the province of Ra is the focus of efforts to build on lessons learned from past integrated coastal resources management attempts and to apply the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area community-based management model. IUCN is supporting Fiji in developing road maps on coastal management laws and policies to raise legal awareness and also working with partners to capture and share lessons for learning.
  2. In Papua New Guinea, efforts build on coastal management work in Kimbe Bay, with a focus on managing land-based threats and identifying livelihood opportunities through ecologically sustainable economic development, and extend ecosystem-based coastal fisheries management in Manus Island. IUCN has established an environmental law working group to support the project with the intention of increasing awareness and conducting training for private sector, government and civil society lawyers. IUCN is also working with the PNG Learning and Training Network to put in place a learning hub at the provincial level and to support the promotion of best management practices on a national scale.
  3. In Solomon Islands, our work has triggered integrated coastal resources management and ecosystem-based coastal fisheries management within an existing community-based program, with a focus on Malaita and Isabel Provinces. IUCN Oceania continues to back Solomon Islands in the establishment of an environmental law association, and we are working with the Solomon Islands Locally Managed Marine Areas Network to document and disseminate lessons and best practice outcomes of the project.
  4. Timor-Leste’s National Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will introduce integrated coastal resources management and ecosystem-based coastal fisheries management around the islands of Atauro Island and Batugede. IUCN is working with the Timor Leste Legal Training Centre to run a legal training course for lawyers both in the public and the private sector. We are also facilitating cross-site-learning where practitioners from the Indonesia Locally Managed Marine Areas network will visit and work with communities in Timor Leste to assist them with MPA establishment, seaweed farming and use of Fish Aggregating Devices.
  5. In Vanuatu, IUCN is working with local stakeholders to support the establishment of an environmental law association. Through various training opportunities and workshops, stakeholders and practitioners have started to work together with the aim of introducing best practice approaches to coastal management.

The implementation of various components of the whole project is undertaken by a number of partners which includes government departments, ministries and non-governmental organizations. IUCN does not work in isolation but is utilizing existing expertise and networks and our own diverse networks within these countries to add value and achieve the project’s goals.

DURATION

January 2011 to December 2014.

DONORS

The project costs US$18.5 million and is being funded by the Asian Development Bank with co-financing from the Global Environment Facility, Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund, and Australian Institute of Marine Science, as well as cash and in-kind contributions from the governments of the five countries.

ADB’s Pacific Department is the executing agency and will exercise overall responsibility for the coordination, supervision, and implementation of all project activities.

MORE INFORMATION
Contact persons for the project are Patricia Parkinson, patricia.parkinson@iucn.org and Etika Rupeni, etika.rupeni@iucn.org

Download the printer-friendly version of the ADB Coral Triangle Pacific Program brief.